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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to raise awareness of the option for split payments of universal credit during the covid-19 outbreak.
Split payments can be considered by the Jobcentre Work Coach at the outset of the Universal Credit claim, or during it. They can also be triggered and put in place by information received from the claimant, their representative, or their caseworker.
Jobcentre staff remain available to provide support, in person, for vulnerable customers and those in urgent need of help – such as survivors of domestic abuse, or those who have no access to a phone or the internet. This support includes the option of Split Payments to prevent hardship to the claimant and their family.
All Universal Credit colleagues receive training on complex needs, including training on supporting survivors of abuse and how to signpost to expert partner organisations.
They also have access to the latest guidance, on domestic abuse and Alternative Payment Arrangements, including Split Payments.
A further internal guide to support survivors of domestic abuse will be launched, which will further raise awareness of how colleagues can support survivors of abuse.
We work closely with partner organisations and stakeholders and have escalation routes to provide local community based, joined up services. We are maintaining these strong relationships during this difficult time to ensure we continue to support our most vulnerable claimants.