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    We're here to support you in accessing the benefits you're entitled to.

    Anyone applying for Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or other benefits should not go to a jobcentre but apply online. If you need help doing this, please contact our customer services team.

    The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has advised there will be a major peak of claims over the next two weeks. 

    Please do not call them. You should instead update your online journal.

    Staff are not answering incoming calls, but are making calls to claimants in turn to speak to them. 

    If you've made a claim or asked for an update using your journal, please make sure they have the right number for you and keep your phone handy so you don't miss their call. 

    If someone has not heard any response from DWP on their claim again use the journal to communicate.

    For more information, please visit the Universal Credit website.

    • Jobcentre appointments and Universal Credit

      People receiving benefits no longer need to attend jobcentre appointments.

      People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 19 March 2020.

      Anyone already claiming Universal Credit who thinks they may have been affected by coronavirus, should contact their work coach using the online journal or calling the Universal Credit helpline.

      The standard rate for Universal Credit and tax credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from 6 April. 

    • Sickness and disability benefits

      Face to face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended.

      This affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, as well as recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 17 March 2020.

      The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.