Tuesday, January 19, 2021

DWP announce Covid tier system for Jobcentres – how will yours be affected?

Jobcentres to remain open but services and requirements on claimants may differ.

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that Jobcentre’s will remain open after the current Covid-19 restrictions expire on December 2nd.

However, different rules will apply and services may differ based on which Coronavirus Tier your local area has been placed in.

This means from 3 December 2020 in England, the following updated guidance (as quoted) will apply to Jobcentre’s in England. Scroll down to find out how the guidance is changing in the rest of the UK.

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Local Restriction Tier 1 (Medium) and Tier 2 (High):

  • Work Coaches will be empowered to support customers by the best and most appropriate channels – whether online, by phone, or in person – with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact on the phone or digitally.
  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current COVID-19 guidance.
  • Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit you should contact the DWP or Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible to make a claim in the normal way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact the DWP immediately to ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

Local Restriction Tier 3 (Very High):

  • All face-to-face assessments will be suspended, except for vulnerable customers who will still be able to attend jobcentres for urgent support.
  • Work Coaches will be empowered to support customers by the best and most appropriate channels – whether online, by phone, or in person – with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact on the phone or digitally.
  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current COVID-19 guidance.
  • Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit, you should contact the DWP or Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible to make a claim in the normal way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact the DWP immediately to ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

For Scotland:

On 2 November 2020, the Scottish Government introduced a five level tiered system. The following will therefore apply to jobcentres and customers in Scotland:

Levels 0 and 1:

For these levels, the jobcentre guidance in place for Tier 1 (medium) of the updated Local Restriction Tiers system (above) will apply.

Level 2:

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For this level, the jobcentre guidance in place for Tier 2 (high) of the updated Local Restriction Tiers system (above) will apply.

Levels 3 and 4:

For these levels, the jobcentre guidance in place for Tier 3 (very high) of the updated Local Restriction Tiers system (above) will apply.

For Wales:

From 9 November 2020, the Welsh Government announced an easing of restrictions. From then, the jobcentre guidance in place for Tier 1 (medium) of the updated Local Restriction Tiers system (above) will apply to jobcentres and customers in Wales.

For Northern Ireland:

You are advised to contact the Department for Communities for more information on measures introduced in Northern Ireland – 028 9082 9000.

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DWP faces judicial review after mentally ill man found ‘starved to death’

Errol Graham starved to death in June 2018 after the DWP stopped his benefits.