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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 46719, tabled on 13 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she has taken to provide additional support for people in receipt of legacy benefits during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

22 May 2020

The Government has announced a suite of measures that can be quickly and effectively operationalised to benefit those facing the most financial disruption during the pandemic.

These announced measures that have a positive impact on legacy and other working age benefits include:

  • Providing more support for benefit claimants in the Private Rented Sector by increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile, helping to alleviate affordability challenges, which will provide additional support for those receiving Housing Support.
  • Suspending the requirement for people applying for or receiving benefits to attend jobcentre appointments, which started from Thursday 19 March 2020.
  • Allowing disabled and sick claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payments, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit to continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged.
  • Allowing carers to retain their entitlement to Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring as a result of isolation due to, or infection or contamination with, coronavirus disease of either the carer or the person cared for.
  • The 1.7% benefit up-rating was implemented in April, ending the benefits freeze, and the state pension rose by 3.9%, as per the triple lock, reflecting last year’s substantial rise in average earnings,

In addition, we have provided local authorities with £500m to support the most vulnerable households in their area who may struggle to meet Council Tax payments.