JOB Centre staff say they are doing all they can to make sure claimants get the financial support they need during the coronavirus threat.
Duncan Campbell from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), who covers both Worcestershire and Herefordshire, said face-to-face assessments had been suspended during the crisis and they were temporarily cutting the need for anyone to come into Job Centres.
“There is just so much uncertainty about at the moment,” he said.
“We want to help people in terms of where they are, so anyone who has to stay at home and is self-isolating can get the financial support they need, up to a month in advance.
“This is about trying to ensure that anyone on benefits gets as much financial support as possible.”
He added that DWP staff were now were calling people on the phone in an effort to cut down on footfall coming into their offices.
“We don’t really want people coming in but at the same time we have to make sure they get their money.”
[BLOB] For those directly affected or self-isolating due to Covid-19, Universal Credit advances will be available online / via phone with no attendance requirements.
[BLOB] The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) will be temporarily relaxed for those self-employed claimants directly affected by Covid-19 for the duration of the outbreak.
[BLOB] A carer could benefit if they are self-employed and therefore subject to the MIF; and the person they care for has been advised to self-isolate (or they themselves are advised to self-isolate).
“It’s about helping people get through this,” said Mr Campbell.