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Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 46632, tabled on 13 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the decision not to extend the covid-19 emergency £20 funding for universal credit claimants to those on legacy benefits.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

5 June 2020

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by COVID 19, DWP has made a number of changes to make sure people can self-isolate, and to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system. We have announced measures that benefit those experiencing the most financial disruption and which can be quickly and effectively operationalised, these include:

  • Increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they cover 30% of local market rents – which is on average an additional £600 per year in people’s pockets.
  • Amendments to Housing Benefit so that increases in Working Tax Credits can be disregarded rather than reducing the Housing Benefit award.
  • Treating all ESA claimants who satisfy the conditions of entitlement and are suffering from COVID-19, or who are required to self-isolate in line with government guidance, as having limited capability for work, without the requirement to provide a fit note or to undergo a Work Capability Assessment.
  • Removing waiting days for ESA for those claimants affected by Covid-19, so it will be payable from day one of the claim, subject to the claimant satisfying the normal conditions of entitlement.
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