Universal Credit: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the experience of disabled people using the digital gateway for universal credit.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The published Universal Credit Claimant Survey found that 98 per cent of claimants did claim online and the majority of those said they found the claim process overall to be easy. Universal Credit has been designed with accessibility in mind, and it has been audited and approved by the RNIB for all accessibility needs. Face to face and telephony support is in place for those vulnerable claimants who cannot self-serve online and the Universal Credit telephone helpline is a free phone number.

We are continuing to implement improvements to help ensure all claimants have the support they need to use the service. This includes for example, reviewing how Universal Support operates, which already provides claimants with additional help to use a computer to make or maintain their claim (Assisted Digital Support) and help in managing their monthly Universal Credit payment and possible advice on their finances (Personal Budgeting Support). We are examining feedback from providers and users as part of this.

Furthermore, where our customers need assistance to access our services and information, we can make reasonable adjustments to meet their individual needs. This means that for example, the Department can communicate with customers in a variety of different formats such as Braille, audio, large print, through third party interpreters or by arranging for a member of staff to visit the customer in their home.

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