I know this is a stressful time for everyone, especially anyone dealing with the DWP.
It’s an issue I and other Labour MPs have been raising with minister in the chamber and behind the scenes. Now there is specific advice about DWP approaches here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses
For people already claiming support, special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or Job Centre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.
The arrangements are:
- disabled and sick claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged
- people who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a fit note.
- when claimants who inform in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, will not be sanctioned – the DWP will review conditionality requirements in their claimant commitment, to ensure they are
- claimants who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness
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