Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th September 2018.

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Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 July 2018 to Question 166515, what estimate she has made of the proportion of universal credit claims closed and not paid that relate to claimants with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 July 2018 to Question 166515, what steps she is taking to reduce the proportion of claims closed and not paid when managed migration commences.

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

Information relating to claims closed and not paid that relate to claimants with disabilities or long-term health conditions is not available.

We are working closely with stakeholders and other parties to design the best possible process for the migration of our customers to Universal Credit. The draft Regulations have been out for consultation with the Social Security Advisory Committee and we look forward to their detailed advice which we will consider alongside all the other stakeholder contributions we receive. The regulations will come before Parliament in the autumn, and during 2019 we will test and refine our processes on a small scale to ensure they are working well before we take on larger volumes from 2020 onwards, and complete the process in 2023.

Our focus will be on safeguarding claimants and ensuring a smooth transition with uninterrupted support. We plan to have a comprehensive and well-supported preparation period for claimants. This will include a variety of communication formats, including face to face, internet and postal notification, to ensure claimants are aware of the managed migration process. There is flexibility to extend that period if necessary; and a process to ensure that, before the existing benefits are stopped, our staff will check for evidence of complex needs or vulnerability or disability and act accordingly to support the claimant. Additionally, if a claimant misses their deadline to claim there are provisions in the draft Regulations that will allow DWP to back-date their claim.

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