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Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 31st July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what success they have had in identifying and tracking claimants of Universal Credit whom they deem vulnerable.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Where notified by a Local Authority or a claimant, DWP staff currently updates the claimant profile with any temporary or long term complex needs and how that affects the claimant’s ability to use the service. This enables Universal Credit agents and work coaches to provide individuals with appropriate personalised support.

Underlying this approach is the principle that not all individuals with a disability, health condition or other set of personal circumstances will necessarily require support, while some will only need support for a period of time. Our work coaches deliver a personalised journey based on individual claimant needs.

The Department is looking to further improve our system to better identify vulnerable claimants with the use of a new ‘pinning’ function. This involves testing methods to extract data on information recorded in the claimant profile using text matching techniques. We have plans to introduce a function to ‘pin’ key profile notes so they are instantly visible to all staff helping a claimant. The Department is beginning wider work to examine how claimants tell us about their complex needs, how we record them and how we can extract data which can help us monitor and improve support.

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