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Early results from LA pilots for UC

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a report detailing the findings from the Local Authority Led Pilots. The LA pilots were set up in 13 areas across the country to inform the design and roll-out of Universal Credit (UC). This first report details learning from the first few months of delivery. Findings from the evaluations will be used by local authorities, social housing providers and interested stakeholders via the Learning Network to inform future development.

Key findings from the report include:

  • lack of internet access in some areas
  • resistance to using online services by some claimants
  • many social housing tenants have problems with debt and rent arrears
  • a reluctance among social housing tenants to attend group financial management sessions
  • effective triage processes are essential in allowing authorities to identify customer groups most likely to be affected by welfare reform and who require additional support services
  • existing partnership arrangements may not facilitate the effective joint delivery of local services
  • data sharing amongst partners is a significant problem and the lack of shared data is limiting authorities ability to identify and target particular customer groups


Local authorities have implemented a range of measures to overcome these challenges, including:

  • providing rural wi-fi access points
  • mapping the availability of public internet and publicising this to claimants
  • introducing digital by default services
  • supporting digital champions in the community
  • running financial management sessions with trusted and respected local partners
  • working in partnership with financial support agencies and Credit Unions to assist in setting up specialised budgeting support
  • integrating a variety of partner services into community contact centres
  • using bespoke software to share information



Much of the pilot evaluation work is still in progress and a more detailed interim report will be produced in the early autumn which will provide a more comprehensive review of the pilot activity.

Click here to read the report.

5 August 2013



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