To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether it is her Department's policy that Benefit Delivery Centres accept faxed copied of documents relating to benefit claims; and whether she plans to revise the system for processing benefit claims by Benefit Delivery Centres.
The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Darra Singh:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking whether Benefit Delivery Centres accept faxed copied of documents relating to benefit claims. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus needs evidence to support new and repeat claims to benefit and any change of circumstances. Our preferred channel for submitting this evidence is for the customer to directly post this to the Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC).
We take a risk based approach when verifying the evidence that has been provided. For example, to verify a person's identity, the original documents are required. However, for supporting information that is considered to be less high risk then copies, faxed or otherwise, may be accepted.
If a customer does not want to post their evidence to the BDC, or if the customer has been identified as vulnerable, an appointment can be made to hand their evidence in at a Jobcentre. This allows the customer to attend the Jobcentre where their documents will be verified and notified to the BDC.
I hope this information is helpful.