BENEFITS EXPERT: Changes are on the way as we ease out of lockdown

There are to be a number of changes and reversions to benefits and administration in the coming weeks as the government moves to ease lockdown measures.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th June 2020, 12:00 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 12:56 pm
As always these may be subject to last minute changes or may not be implemented, so as always, it is a good idea to keep an eye out via the news or other sources.
As always these may be subject to last minute changes or may not be implemented, so as always, it is a good idea to keep an eye out via the news or other sources.

As always these may be subject to last minute changes or may not be implemented so as always keep an eye out via the news or other sources.

Suspension of conditionality will be ending for all new UC claims as well as new claims for New Style JSA and this is due to take place from July 1, 2020.

Currently during lockdown clients have not been able to engage face to face with work coaches, etc. at job centres so these benefits have been paid without the need to agree commitments for job seeking.

If you are already receiving these benefits then the DWP have advised these will also be reviewed subject to local job centre capacity.

The government have also advised that new commitments should take into account local changes in the job market that have arisen during lockdown as well as the claimants own circumstances that may have changed during lockdown.

We should point out that although the suspension of conditionality has ended there does not appear to be an agreed national "re-opening" of job centres. Concerns have been raised by Health & Safety, Trade Unions, etc. that there has been inadequate risk assessments carried out to see if DWP offices can be opened with minimised risks to staff and the public.

It has also been confirmed that the suspension of sanctions for existing and new claims will also end from 1st July 2020.

This will likely take place as this is something the DWP are able to do as there is no need for face to face contact with clients in order to re-implement sanctions.

For clients on Universal Credit you should receive confirmation on your journal about the reinstatement of any such penalties, deductions, etc.

If you have not sort advice concerning such sanctions or deductions then do so to establish any grounds of challenging or reducing these.