Universal Credit: Veterans

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st January 2021.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of trends in the number of veterans claiming universal credit in the most recent period for which figures are available.

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

Currently we do not record as part of our official statistic the number of Universal Credit claimants who are veterans. With Universal Credit, claimants will have an initial interview with their Work Coach as part of the application process. This discussion will cover their career history and skills and qualifications etc, which identifies those claimants who are veterans and ensures appropriate support is offered.

The Department is also continuing to look at what other opportunities might be available to better identify and record data on veterans on the Universal Credit system and has regular conversations with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). This is part of a much wider piece of work involving a number of Departments, including the MOD and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, to improve the collection and use of data relating to veterans.

DWP is proud to provide vital and significant support to veterans which recognises their particular needs and circumstances, including through Armed Forces Champions in each Jobcentre Plus District. For example, early voluntary entry to the Work and Health Programme, and using Service Medical Board evidence where we can so a severely disabled person does not have to undergo additional examinations for Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit purposes. We are also able to signpost veterans to other organisations for further support where appropriate.

The department is a supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant which helps ensure members of the armed forces community have access to government support in a number of areas, including:

  • Starting a new career
  • Access to healthcare
  • Education and family well-being
  • Having a home
  • Financial assistance
  • Discounted services, including travel

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