To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what training is provided to work coaches to support universal credit claimants with (a) Asperger’s syndrome and (b) autism; and what processes are in place to identify people in need of specific support.
The Department is committed to providing the best possible support for all Universal Credit claimants to meet their individual circumstances. Jobcentre and Service Centre staff undergo a comprehensive learning journey designed to equip them with the tools, skills and behaviours required to provide a high quality service to all claimants, including those with Asperger’s syndrome and autism. They receive on-going learning in their roles and have access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals.
Part of our training programme advises Universal Credit Work Coaches to consult with their Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) if the claimant has complex personal circumstances which need to be better understood, including Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) which is complemented with a specific online training product. This has been designed so Universal Credit Work Coaches can refer to it whenever they need to.
Additionally, Universal Credit Work Coaches are equipped with guidance to enable them to provide a high quality service to all claimants including those in need of specific support. Universal Credit guidance includes examples of life events, personal circumstances, health issues and disabilities which could affect the claimant's ability to access and use Universal Credit services.