Universal Credit Overview, Part 1 course outline:

3 hours on Day 1, including registration, course presentation & practice, break and time for questions

  • Eligibility & Rollout
  • The UC Calculation

This part of the course looks at the main Universal Credit (UC) eligibility rules and rollout issues that staff and volunteers need to be aware of. It enables participants to understand who can claim UC and when it is appropriate to do so. After the break, the course provides an overview of the UC calculation and how amounts are worked out. It enables participants to check a UC award and ensure that the correct amount has been awarded.

By the end of Part 1, the course participants will:

  • Understand how Universal Credit affects the wider benefits system and how UC interacts with other benefits.
  • Know who can claim Universal Credit including an awareness of restrictions in respect of mixed age couples, people from abroad, young people, students and people with capital.
  • Have explored the effect of different changes of circumstances on legacy benefits
  • Be able to recognise when it is appropriate to make a claim to UC and when it is not (including getting better off calculations done).
  • Understand the eligibility rules for the various elements that can be included in a UC award.
  • Understand how different forms of income affect a UC award.
  • Be aware of how UC is calculated and be able to use online tools to get calculations done.
  • Be able to anticipate the make up of likely awards at the point of application and check that they are correct once an entitlement decision has been made.

Universal Credit Overview, Part 2:

3 hours on day 2, including registration, course presentations & practice activities, break and time for questions

  • The Claims Process
  • Work Requirements & Sanctions

This part teaches the Universal Credit claims process. It enables participants to help people make the most effective claims to UC including those with a range of access needs. After the break, the course goes on to look at the work related requirements in UC and what claimants must do to avoid a sanction. It enables participants to diagnose a claimant’s work related requirement group and give basic advice on how to avoid a benefit sanction.

By the end of Part 2, participants will:

  • Be aware of the key stages involved in making an online claim to UC;
  • Know when it is appropriate for a telephone claim to be made and how to facilitate a telephone claim.
  • Know when the first payment is due to be made and how and when an advance can be made to alleviate hardship.
  • Have an awareness of how assessment periods operate in UC and how changes of circumstances take effect awards.
  • Understand how the four work related requirement groups operate in UC.
  • Be able to help people mitigate against the likelihood of a sanction decision being made.
  • Understand how good reason operates in UC and how to challenge decisions.

Methods of delivery
This course is delivered online live with a BTC trainer. It is a practical course delivered using a combination of trainer presentation, exercises and case studies, group discussion and games. Participants will be provided with e-learning supporting material including PowerPoint slide handouts, a comprehensive training pack pdf and additional resources. There is a 20-30 minute break halfway through the course.

Intended audience
This course is for participants working with working age people. No previous experience is required although a working knowledge of the wider benefits system is helpful. Please consider whether our Universal Credit in Depth course may be more suitable for you.

Certificates & post course support
Participants will receive an e-certificate for completing both Parts 1&2 (6 hours) of any complete BTC course. This also guarantees eligibility to access our free 12 months post-course advice service (including priority entry to free webinars).

Course instructions
This online course is run over Zoom. In the week before the course, you will receive an email with Zoom link(s) and access the supporting materials. You will need to download (or print) the pack (and slides, if you wish) before each part of the course, unless you have selected a printed pack when booking.

Participants will need a good wifi connection and a suitable computer/laptop to access both the Zoom session and the pack throughout. You may wish to use a separate device for the pack (or split your screen) if you cannot or do not wish to print. We recommend participants log in a few minutes beforehand. You may also wish to have a pen and paper handy to make notes.