Social Security Benefits: Advisory Services

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to permit implied consent for benefit advisers, as well as Members of Parliament, as recommended by the Social Security Advisory Committee.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit operates in a fundamentally different way to any other benefit, The Universal Credit system is structured around an online personal account which contains all the information relevant to the claim. This includes their bank account details, savings, capital, medical history, family relationships and the address and other information about their landlord and employer. We need to ensure a high level of security and protection to combat those unscrupulous individuals and organisations who try to access the information we hold and seek to impersonate genuine advisers. We need to take all reasonable steps to protect the position of claimants and their data.

The Department is continuing to work with SSAC and third party organisations to understand how Universal Credit can support organisations who help our claimants. This activity will include working with claimants and their representatives to ensure the process works effectively for vulnerable claimants to access the service.

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