Universal Credit: Cancer

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

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Photo of Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid Labour, Warrington South

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to make it easier for cancer patients undergoing treatment in hospital to claim universal credit.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

A claimant in hospital, regardless of their condition, has a range of options open to them to support them through their Universal Credit claim if they are unable to complete it themselves online.

Those claimants who are unable to claim online are able to make their claim by telephone and in exceptional circumstances, a hospital visit may be considered. During this visit, the visiting officer will support the claimant to make a telephony claim. If the claimant requires a hospital visit, the date of the claim will be the date of first contact, even if the claimant is not actually able to complete the claim on that same day. In cases in which the claimant is unable to manage their own affairs due to mental incapability or severe physical disability an appointee can be agreed to act on behalf of the claimant in all interactions with the Department.

All claimants receive continuous tailored support through their personal work coaches and all DWP staff in customer facing roles receive training on supporting claimants that report a health condition or disability, including those claimants who report a terminal illness. The Department are committed to ensuring that terminally ill patients are treated with sensitivity and care and receive the support they need to make a claim to Universal Credit.

In addition, staff can use our District Provision Tool to signpost claimants to relevant information about local support services. This digital tool lists local and national provision and support delivered by Jobcentre Plus, Skills Funding Agency, Skills Development Scotland, Careers Wales, other providers, local authorities, and independent and volunteer organisations.

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