To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2017 to Question 4515, what assessment he has made of potential transport difficulties experienced by claimants travelling to a different jobcentre from the one they currently attend; and if he will make a statement.
During the consultation, the catchment area of each jobcentre was investigated and specific travel times and bus routes were compiled locally. Our work coaches personalise the support provided for each claimant based on individual need and circumstance. Where claimants have limitations due to a health condition or disability or because of caring responsibilities, then this is taken into account when arranging any attendance.
DWP acknowledges that the proposals included in the consultation may increase travel costs for some claimants. We also recognise that some claimants will be taking an unfamiliar journey: work coaches will support these people over the transition period until they become familiar with their new travel arrangements.
Claimants can also make a request to attend a jobcentre that is closer to their home, or with more convenient travel links, if that better suits their needs. Our work coaches will help signpost claimants in such circumstances. DWP is able to reimburse travel costs for claimants and customers, taking into account their particular circumstances, who attend the jobcentre outside their minimum requirement of attendance. This is not new and is the case for any claimant required to attend a jobcentre throughout the UK. Support to meet travel costs is also available to eligible claimants via the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card, depending on the operator or route.