DWP is swamped by half a million Universal Credit claims in coronavirus crisis

Another back-of-a-fag-packet Tory scheme falls apart.

Boris Johnson told us that Universal Credit would be available to self-employed people who become out-of-pocket as a result of his coronavirus lockdown. It’s a con, because they will receive just £94 per week, whereas employees whose firms sign up to the government’s wage guarantee will receive 80 per cent of their normal pay, up to £2,500 per month.

That’s a big difference – but the wage guarantee isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either; think what happens in firms that don’t sign up to it.

What a shame he didn’t find out whether the Department for Work and Pensions could cope with the extra load first.

And how strange that senior DWP official were reportedly sent to Job Centres, when the Job Centres are closed to appointments and assessments.

So what do you think has happened?

According to Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, the department has processed almost half a million claims in nine days.

And what do you think that means for the average claimant?

Here’s one now:

“Been trying to apply for Universal Credit and get my £95pw,” he writes.

“I started 4 hours ago.

“The number of people ahead of me in the queue has fallen by roughly 1,000.

“At this rate it will take 16,230.8 days to get to the front of the queue.

“Isn’t it great being self-employed?”

This story suggests Ms Coffey has been overoptimistic about the speed with which her people are processing claims.

I find the deadpan of the DWP computer system unintentially comical: “Number of users in queue ahead of you: 97,385.

“Your estimated wait time is: more than an hour.”

And of course people contacting the DWP about their continuing claims have been caught up in the delays.

A commenter to This Site told me they needed to contact the DWP before March 21 to meet a Universal Credit deadline – but was unable to do so because of the delays.

So the DWP sent a message saying the benefit had been stopped.

Fortunately it was possible to reinstate the payments in this case.

But the message is clear:

This was another promise Boris Johnson simply couldn’t keep. He is a menace to the public.

Source: Almost 500,000 people in UK apply for universal credit in nine days | World news | The Guardian

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6 thoughts on “DWP is swamped by half a million Universal Credit claims in coronavirus crisis

  1. Dez

    Not surprised I’m sure they had that covered. Not. However even Capita et al could probably not have that many able bodied ready to go instant staff to cover that multitude of claimants in todays situation ready to go….or even want to go.

  2. zzzzxtdjfeb

    This lockdown has not been properly prepared. He’s imprisoned the population of Yorkshire. How can you keep teenage boys inside and teenage girls. It’s a terrible situation. Millions of people locked up and food not certain to get. Has the world gone mad?

  3. trev

    And imagine if you didn’t have your own broadband, trying to apply on a jobcentre computer for all that time, or in the library as people were doing on a public computer that times-out after one hour.

  4. Growing Flame

    I see a steep learning curve coming for many people who thought that Universal Credit, like other forms of Benefit, was a passport to oodles of free cash and a life of leisure.
    As long as they don’t conclude that the myths they believed before-of scroungers and “immigrants” being “given everything while we scrape and save”-were true and that, suddenly, it’s all being reduced now that true-blue white people are in need.
    I suspect that the Tories fear a backlash against themselves from one of their voter-bases, the self-employed tradespeople, and are now re-thinking the policy and may come up with a more earnings-related form of payment.

    1. Dez

      Totally agree Universal Credit is all this Con lot want in place and now they will have the biggest captive input to their benefits plot with no going back for every applicant that comes off the much fairer previous systems. Interesting the question time clone openly admitted he could not live on such a pathetic benefit amount. Maybe they want every one back in work houses when these same underfunded folk hit the streets……as they will

Comments are closed.