Universal Credit: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Winchester Baroness Thomas of Winchester Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that disabled people do not see an end to their financial support if they are unable to make a claim for Universal Credit within the allocated timeframe during managed migration.

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

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 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 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 will 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 for claimants; 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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