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Coronavirus Easements Update

Coronavirus Easements Update

At the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak the government set in place a number of easements - these were either due to social distancing measures or to help the DWP deal with the unprecedented number of new UC claims.
Many of these easements are set to end in June:

Attending interviews at the Jobcentre. All requirements to attend appointments at the Jobcentre in person were suspended for 3 months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.

Face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits were suspended from 17th March 2020 for an initial period of three months. On 9th June the government announced that they were in the process of reviewing this measure in light of the latest public health advice and would confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Suspension of benefit reviews and reassessments for Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment were in place up to 24th June 2020. On 16th June the government announced that they were in the process of reviewing this measure and would confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Work search and availability requirements were suspended for three months from 30th March 2020 - so are due to end on 29th June 2020. The Regulations introducing this suspension do allow the government to extend this - but no announcement has yet been made.

Recovery of certain debts was suspended from 3rd April 2020 for 3 months - this was so that the DWP could redeploy staff to help with the high volume of new claims they were receiving at that time. As the number of new claims has dropped, it could be that this suspension is lifted and claimants will begin to see these deductions again for assessments made on or after 3rd July 2020.

If you would like more detailed information about any of the above please contact our office.

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