Coronavirus: DWP announcement on benefit assessments leaves room for persecution

It’s taken the DWP long enough but at last we have some clarity on benefit claims and reassessments.

The message is: don’t come to the Job Centre – stay at home.

That’s in line with the overarching message in the face of the coronavirus epidemic.

So new claimants are asked to make their claims for Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Attendance Allowance and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit online or by telephone.

That presents issues in itself because many people are uncomfortable using computers to claim benefits, and telephone claims can involve long waits and are likely to entail unhelpful service.

There will be no new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for three months – this includes Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Apparently there’s already been an announcement that all face-to-face assessments have been suspended, in order to safeguard potentially vulnerable claimants.

That will be news to a few claimants I know. Perhaps the government announced it behind a paywall in the Telegraph or The Times.

Assessments that are already ongoing will continue, with claimants contacted to discuss how they will go further.

That could be a problem, knowing how the DWP treats claimants.

Ultimately, the message is mixed – just as it is with all the government’s announcements relating to coronavirus.

There is still plenty of leeway for the “Department of Welfare Persecution” to live down to its nickname.

Source: Benefit assessments suspended for three months while new claimants told to stay away from Jobcentres – Welfare Weekly

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  1. zzzzxtdjfeb March 25, 2020 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Good news starts off slowly. The Department for Persecution has been a valuable aide for the government since 2010. It is now under intense observation and will be wing clipped as the absurdities of its activity and thinking and planning become exposed. Good winds are always in the world. I am for good, I am for the Prince of England. For Britain and Ireland. For the world. I am for Boudica, Owain Glyndwr, John Wesley, James Connolly, Henry V, Robert the Bruce, Richard 111, Henry 11, Edward 1, Wat Tyler. I am for Britain. I am for Russia. Lenin is my organiser. Olga Berggolts and her songs of love in that immortal siege. ‘Many less famous women also acted as scribes for the city, keeping diaries and journals and writing poems, partly to save themselves from insanity, and in part to make sense of the horror around them. Some of them are published in English, including, Vera Inber’s ‘Leningrad Diary.’ Inber almost died of starvation, but still managed to describe her life’.

  2. Jeffrey Davies March 25, 2020 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Dwp behave nah it’s but a joke and needs remaking and those inside who followed orders gone then perhaps we believe

  3. Stu March 25, 2020 at 7:57 am - Reply

    An observation.
    Funny how in “normal” times the DWP ignore named medical conditions in favour of individual capabilities for the purpose of the assessments but NAME limited conditions where they will give (limited) assistance to by those who are “shielding”.

    Dual standards?

  4. trev March 25, 2020 at 10:32 am - Reply

    They still haven’t made any mention of JSA. If signing appointments are suspended will payments be made automatically without need for a signature? If so what about jobsearch requirements and Sanctions? Have they been suspended? I have a signing appointment on the 31st but have been told nothing, I still don’t know if the Jobcentre is open or if I am supposed to attend. It was open as normal last time on the 17th. Why are they ignoring JSA, and why haven’t people received a letter explaining what’s happening and what’s now required?

    • Mike Sivier March 25, 2020 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      The government has postponed ALL face-to-face assessments or appointments at the Job Centre until at least June 19. It includes JSA, apparently. Ask Citizens Advice.

      • trev March 25, 2020 at 7:15 pm - Reply

        I finally received an email from someone at my Jobcentre this afternoon saying that all Jobcentre appointments are cancelled and payments will be made automatically until further notice. So I now have official confirmation.

        • Mike Sivier March 25, 2020 at 7:37 pm - Reply

          That’s good to know.

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