College of Occupational Therapists secures concession for Universal Credit claimants with distressed children

College of Occupational Therapists secures concession for Universal Credit claimants with distressed children
Legislation governing Universal Credit will be amended to give greater support to parents of distressed children. The amendment to the Pensions Act 2014 follows evidence provided by the College of Occupational Therapists as part of a Department for Work and Pensions Review led by Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform.
Parents on low incomes claiming Universal Credit will now have their work–related requirements suspended for a minimum of one month giving them time to support their child through traumatic circumstances. Work related requirements include taking part in interviews and training to help get back into work or find better paid work. 
Evidence provided by Karina Dancza, College of Occupational Therapists’ expert on children and young people, argued that the changing needs of the whole family must be recognised when children are experiencing distress due to family bereavement, domestic violence, abuse and other serious events.
Karina Dancza, Professional advisor, children and young people said: 
“This is a significant change reducing pressure on the family when their emotional and mental health needs are paramount. It enables parents and carers to be there for their children when they need it most and get immediate support that will increase their longer term prospects of finding employment.”
Universal Credit is new means tested benefit that will replace and combine six benefits, including jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit, into a single payment.  Other benefits e.g. disability living allowance and personal independence payment will remain largely unchanged.  Universal Credit will rise and fall more smoothly with people’s circumstances and is being phased in over time.
The change to the legislation under The Universal Credit and Miscellaneous Amendments (No 2) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 26 November 2014.

Story courtesy of BAOT