09:55, Monday, 1st August 2022

Support for unemployed people over 50 from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

This is a list of information from the DWP that includes new financial support schemes for unemployed people over 50, the drive to reduce the cost of childcare, and more.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT (UC)

  • Jobseekers who are over age 50: On July 4th the government announced millions of pounds of new measures to tackle unemployment amongst the over 50s on benefits, providing more support for people in that age bracket. For more information, see here
  • Support for a child conceived without your consent – the form to claim extra benefit or tax credits for a child conceived without  consent, if they are the third or subsequent child has had clarification added on which third party professionals can complete parts 2 and 3 of the form. See here

Guidance on Gov.uk has been updated to reflect the above information. See here

  • The latest experimental UC statistics have been added to Gov.uk.  The period covered is 29 April 2013 to 9 June 2022. Don’t forget, you can log in as a guest to view the information See here
  • Universal Credit Guidance updated:  Our guidanceUniversal Credit: different earning patterns and your payments’ has now been updated to reflect the UC earnings taper amounts of £0.55 for every £1.00 earned – see here

NEW STYLE JOBSEEKERS ALLOWANCE

  • Updated guidance on Gov.uk:  The New Style Jobseekers Allowance guidance has been amended because people claiming this benefit will need to attend a face to face interview at a jobcentre after making the claim. It also includes a list of documents needed at the interview to prove identity. See here

PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT (PIP)

  • PIP Guidance– Our guidance for health professionals carrying out PIP assessment activity and for those responsible for the quality of PIP assessments has been updated. The terminology has changed throughout the guide to reflect the Departmental change from Special Rules for terminally Ill (SRTI) to Special Rules for End of Life (SREL). See here

EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (ESA)

  • New Style ESA: guidance on Gov.uk has been amended to show that people can now get a fit note to support the claim from a registered nurse, occupational therapist, pharmacist, or physiotherapist, as well as from a GP or hospital doctor.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance: detailed guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

New Style Employment and Support Allowance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Permitted Work Form: a new version of this form has been added to Gov.uk. The part about where to send the form once completed has been altered. Latest version

OLDER PEOPLE AND PENSION PLANNING

  • Pension Credit Day of Action: The recent publicity and action surrounding Pension Credit entitlement has seen weekly claims double new figures have revealed. Over 10,000 Pension Credit claims were made during the week of 13 June – an increase of 275% compared to that same week in 2021. Claiming what a person is entitled to is vital in these times and remember, even a small award can provide access to a wide range of other benefits. These include help with housing costs, council tax assistance and, for those over 75, a continued entitlement to a free TV licence. More information on how to claim Pension Credit can be found here
  • New Guidance: Information about underpaid State Pension for someone who has died can now be requested by a next of kin or executor for someone who has died. New guidance provides more information. See here
  • Government response to the consultation on Pension Dashboards: Often individuals struggle to understand their pensions, and many do not know how much they can expect to receive in retirement. Pensions dashboards will change that – making it easy for individuals to see their pensions information, including on the State Pension, in one place online on their laptop, smartphone, or any other device of their choice. The consultation was on the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations. Here is the link to the Government’s response. Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman has called on pension schemes of all types and sizes to make sure their data is ready for pensions dashboards.
  • The Mid-life MOT is a review for workers in their 40s and 50s that helps them take stock of their finances, skills and health, and enables them to better prepare for their retirement and build financial resilience. Jobcentre staff will sit down with older jobseekers to examine their retirement planning and help them to not only identify how to overcome barriers to employment, but also explore any avenues to help improve their earning and saving potential. Press release

OTHER BENEFITS/PUBLICATIONS/ NEWS STORIES

  • August Bank Holiday: we’re not far away from the summer bank holiday now. Quick reminder, Jobcentres and DWP helplines will be closed on Monday 29th August. Any benefit payments due on 29th will be paid early on 26th August
  • Fit notes: I mentioned in last month’s update that more healthcare professionals will be given powers to certify fit notes from 1st July. This is now in place. See Press Release . Fit note guidance on Gov.uk has now been updated to reflect these changes

Fit note: guidance for healthcare professionals – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Who can issue fit notes: guidance for healthcare professionals and their employers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Tax credits- reminder that Tax Credit customers have until 31 July to renew their claims. Press release
  • DWP Debt Management Performance: this document has been amended to add DWP Debt Management performance data for 2021 to 2022 for       recovery of overpaid benefits, customer calls and customer complaints. See here
  • Cost of Living Payment– the information on Gov.uk has been amended to add that DWP is using a computer program to identify who should be paid and what to do if a person disagrees with this.

We have also produced a toolkit for stakeholders, which includes downloadable posters, social media copy and newsletters for organisations to use.

These communication aids will provide information about the different types of payment, eligibility, and when people should expect to receive the cash. See here

  • Cost of Living Payment update 1 – The first of two cost of living payments have started to land in peoples bank accounts from 14th July. The second instalment of £324 will follow in the autumn, with separate payments for pensioners and disabled people also coming later this year
  • Cost of Living Guidance update 2 – A table has been added to show the amount of the Cost of Living Payment a person will get and when it will be paid for people on a low income benefit from DWP or tax credits from HMRC. See here
  • Important Cost of Living Payments Scams: You may have seen in the media that there has been a significant increase in scammers attempting to obtain personal information from customers by sending out texts suggesting that customers are eligible for cost of living payments. Please remind customers that they do not have to do anything. If they are eligible:
  • they will not need to apply for the payment
  • they will not need to call us
  • the payment to is automatic
  • DWP will never ask for personal details by SMS or email.

If customers are unsure about a text, they should report it on GOV.UK

Cost of Living Payments paid via Credit Unions, Corporate Appointees, or NHS Secure Units – Recently Cost of Living payments started to be issued and as a result there has been an increase in the number of calls from Credit Unions, Corporate appointees and some NHS Secure Units to advise that they have been unable to identify who the payments should be allocated to as the reference is just ‘Cost of Living’.

A solution has been agreed with DWP Finance colleagues which will allow Credit Unions, Corporate Appointees and NHS Secure Units to email this template  Cost of living Credit Union, Corporate Appointees, NHS Secure Unit contact  to the following inbox TEAMBLS@DWP.GOV.UK(link sends e-mail) with the payment reference numbers (this will be the 18 digit reference number) and ‘Cost of Living payment’ in the subject line. This will allow Finance to identify and notify these organisations by return email who these payments are intended for.

NB – This inbox MUST NOT be given to claimants. It is also important that no duplicate requests are issued as this will impact the team’s ability to respond to these queries.

Within ‘Household Support Fund (April to September) final guidance’

Paragraphs 17,18, 87 and 88 have been amended/added to provide guidance where an authority receives unspent Third Party Organisation funding or expired vouchers after submitting their final management information.

Paragraph 52 (previously paragraph 50) has been updated to clarify reporting requirements for ‘Households with Children’ and ‘Households with Pensioners’.

Paragraph 65 has been added to clarify reporting requirements when Household Support Fund payments are made instead of a different payment method

  • Support with Energy Bills this Winter Press release: £400 energy bills discount to support households this winter. Millions of households across Great Britain will receive non-repayable discounts on their energy bills this winter. The UK government has now set out further details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. See here. There is also new Gov.uk guidance to help people find ways to save energy in their home Find ways to save energy in your home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • HMRC app – HMRC is encouraging more customers to use their highly-rated app as it is a quick and easy way to get tax credits renewals done ahead of the 31 July deadline. More than 33,600 customers have successfully used the HMRC app to renew their tax credits claim so far this year, a 39% increase on last year.

Customers can download the app at the App Store or Google Play. Online reviews at both indicate plenty of satisfaction with the app’s performance, as it currently holds a score of 4.5 stars on the App Store, and 4.7 on Google Play.

  • Housing for Older and Vulnerable People – The Supported Housing Improvement Programme will help councils in worst-affected areas tackle bad quality and poor value for money in the supported housing sector. See Press Release for more information
  • New Powers Proposed for Child Maintenance Service: Parents who refuse to pay child maintenance could face curfews, as Ministers plan new powers for the Child Maintenance Service. The change is being considered as part of fresh proposals that will get more of the money that is owed to the children of separated parents. See Press Release
  • Tax Cuts: From 6th July a £6 billion tax cut will see the level at which people start paying National Insurance rise from £9,880 to £12,570 – lifting 2.2 million people out of paying any personal tax and ensuring people get to keep more of the money they earn. See here
  • Extra support for thousands navigating the legal system: Around £4 million will be awarded to charities and organisations providing legal help this financial year – an increase on the £3 million provided in previous years. The grants will help ensure people can get speedy support to understand how to deal with the legal problems they face. Press release
  • Maximum of 2 children in Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit Statistics April 2022 – this policy came into effect in April 2017. See here
  • Recruitment for the British Sign Language Advisory Board – BSL users are being sought to advise government on key issues for Deaf people. See Press release
  • Alternative Claimant Count statistics- These are Official experimental statistics on the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits and estimates of the proportion in-work. The period covered is January 2013 to May 2022. See here
  • LA Welfare Direct Bulletin 7/2022 – this edition has recently been added to Gov.uk and it includes information about DWP measures to improve access to home ownership. See here
  • DWP’s response to a Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) report. This report looked at how DWP involves disabled people when developing or evaluating programmes that affect them. To read the response please see here
  • Housing Benefit Statistics: These statistics show the average number of days to process a new Housing Benefit claim or a change of circumstance to an existing Housing Benefit claim. New statistics for the period January to March 2022 has recently been added. See here
  • The Health Adjustment Passport- this can be used for a person with a disability or health condition that makes it harder for them to move into work or stay in a job. A person could use it to:

* help identify what support and changes (known as reasonable adjustments) may be needed when in work or moving into work

* apply for support from Access to Work. This could include funding for specialist equipment to assist with their job, support getting to and from work or other in work help, such as job coaching

* help with talking to employers about adjustments and in-work support that may be needed See here

This information was taken from an email newsletter released by the Jobcentre. Produced by Kath Goodman, Partner Support Manager, Hull Jobcentre. Department for Work and Pensions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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