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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th April 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that the benefits system is able to manage the growth in demand due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Since 16th March, the Department has received over 1.2m claims for Universal Credit. This is an unprecedented level of demand for our services, however, we have every confidence that the Department can meet this challenge.

Our priority as a Department remains that we ensure people get their benefit payments and that we can continue to support those who need our support the most.

We are continuing to redeploy 10,000 staff from other parts of DWP to frontline services and are also recruiting additional staff to assist with the processing of claims, including support from other government departments.

We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes, and people making new claims for Universal Credit now no longer need to call the Department as part of the process.

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