Michael Lemin (ncfe Head of Policy) is joined by Jayne Graham MBE (Executive Director at Society Matters cic), Rebecca Cooney (Senior Analysis and Features Writer at Third Sector), Glen Manners (Associate Director – Membership and Education at Charity People) and Stuart Campbell (Employability Manager at Home Group) to discuss the misconceptions about the sector, and the range of opportunities, including voluntary roles, and identifying and developing transferable skills to help jobseekers thrive.
This is the latest podcast from ncfe’s Go the Distance series – tackling the big issues when it comes to taking action on unemployment in the current economic climate.
We’re so happy with our very first webinar, kindly hosted as a ‘Live Learn Lunch’ by the Institute of Employability Professionals mid December. We chose to talk about the 6 elements of Universal Credit, with an explanation of each element, and then a focus on how changes in circumstances can impact on people’s claims, as well as some obvious references to adjustments associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The webinar was formatted as a presentation from myself and Adam, followed by questions and answers. We think it’s so important for the support system to understand this dimension of the benefit, because then they can spot opportunities to help early on, before a problem brews and a claim is affected, so we were really pleased to have a good turn-out but also to have the opportunity for a recording to be viewed by those who weren’t able to attend.
Of course there’s a lot of detail we weren’t able to explore during the session, that we cover in a lot more detail in our Get to Grips with Universal Credit online training course, but the webinar did provide participants with some red flags they should look out for so that’s definitely a good start.
Personal Independence Payments (known also as PIP) are geared to doing exactly what it says on the tin – helping people to achieve an improved level of personal independence despite experiencing a disability.
Several of our customers who work in the welfare support sector in some shape or form, particularly those who have attended our Getting to Grips with Universal Credit course, have told us that they also struggle to understand the complexities of PIP, worrying that their clients might not get the best possible support when completing their PIP application. Evidence shows that a high proportion of people who apply for PIP actually fail in their application – indicating that this is a real concern. Many of those with failed applications ultimately do go on to successfully acquire the benefit when it is recognised that the first decision wasn’t fair, however this is often after pursuing a long appeals process which causes delay, money worries and of course a lot of stress.
In 2019 the Disability News Service reported that DWP’s own statistics show that as many as one in seven of all government decisions to reject claims for personal independence payment (PIP) is eventually overturned, a rise of 6 percentage points since 2014/15. They also suggest that this is probably the tip of the iceberg as many such decisions aren’t actually challenged.
So what can we do to help people who are entitled to PIP make a successful claim?
Society Matters cic aims to make its mark by mobilising the knowledge of the people who do know amongst those who don’t – our learning programmes draw expert knowledge from the people working at the front end of social welfare, based on the principle that the more people and organisations within the system who understand the detail the better the system can support the people who need the help.
As well as a half day workshop to really dig into the detail, we have developed some short introductory videos as an introduction to PIP and the PIP application process. This is the beginning of our Video Help Series – let us know if you need help in other areas as it’s your feedback and ideas that will help us to make sure our resources really make a difference.
Lee Booth has a brief chat with an expert adviser at Citizens Advice Gateshead to get an introduction to Personal Independence Payments.
This 4 minute video is the first of a series aimed at supporting an improved understanding amongst support organisation of social welfare benefits, including Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments.
If you’ve found this short video useful please sign up to our mailing list to receive a notification when the next video in our social welfare benefits series is released.