Welfare Reform Team

Welfare Reform Team - Supporting people into work

We help people experiencing changes to their benefits to find work, access training and get other support they may need to improve their situation for the long term.

If you are struggling to pay your rent and bills, feel like it is difficult to find a job or to get back into work, or are just a bit confused about what your options are now that your benefits have changed, then we can:

  • Offer dedicated, flexible and one-to-one personal support to get you into (or back into) work and ease the pressure you may currently experience paying your rent
  • Help you pay your rent with discretionary housing payments (DHPs)
  • Help you find housing that fits your needs through downsizing or mutual exchange
  • Offer advice and support, including guidance from other advice agencies in the city
  • Help you to face what might be stopping you working

If you think you might be affected by benefit changes, we'd be happy to hear from you. Book an appointment with the team today.

If you are a council tenant and struggling to manage your tenancy, you can also get in touch with our Tenancy Sustainment team.

Our service to you

Our customer service standards set out what you can expect from us when you ask us for help. You can see our customer service standards by clicking the link below.

Welfare Reform Team Customer Service Standards

Assessing discretionary housing payments

A snapshot of our performance figures on 6 October 2017 is shown in the table.

Measure Target Performance Are we meeting our target?
Making a decision about a DHP 10 working days 10.9 working days No
Reviewing a decision about a DHP 5 working days 4.9 working days Yes

We are not meeting our service standard targets because of a substantial increase in DHP applications compared to 2016/17. This is largely due to changes to the benefit cap in November and December last year. We are also agreeing 82% of DHP applications compared to 60% a year ago. As nearly all DHPs involve developing and agreeing a support plan with customers to improve their financial situation, saying "yes" to a DHP application also involves more work than saying "no".

The extension of Universal Credit to couples and families from 18 October has also contributed to DHP delays. We provide support for Universal Credit claimants to make and manage their claims online, and to help them to manage their monthly payment so they can pay their rent, bills and other living costs. Planning and delivering our Springboard service to Universal Credit claimants has eaten into the time we have to look at DHPs.

You can find more information about DHP on our discretionary housing payment spending and activity page. 

Customer satisfaction survey

We also run a customer satisfaction survey to measure how happy our customers are with the service we provide. We normally publish the results of this twice a year, in October and April.

Because of the way the new benefit cap was introduced in November and December 2016, many of the customers we work with were affected by this. We only send customer satisfaction surveys to individual customers once a year, and the timing of the new benefit cap meant that we did not send surveys to many of these people in the first six months of 2017/18. Because we received so few survey forms, the six month results are not reliable as a way of understanding how customers experience our service.

We will produce full year survey results for 201/18 in April 2018.

You can find the results of our 2016-17 customer satisfaction survey below:

2016-17 customer satisfaction survey results

Helping customers into work

In 2017-18, we have a target to help 42 customers into work.

So far, we have helped 49 customers into work. This means that we have already met our target for the year.