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DWP COVID-19 Latest Updates 12 May

Tuesday 12th May 2020

The below has been provided to us by the DWP

Our Plan to rebuild

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy (link is external)

The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Claiming Access to Work

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, customers can still get help from AtW if they have disability or a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for them to do their job and they need to work from home. Customers cannot claim help from AtW if they are no longer working. If they already have an AtW award, they can start using it again when they start working again. DWP is prioritising making grants for new claims from critical workers and people due to start work within four weeks. Further information is contained in the Access to Work Factsheet on GOV.UK

Protected Eligibility to Childcare

Temporary measures will ensure critical workers are still eligible for childcare offers if their income has changed due to coronavirus. The Government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to COVID-19. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further details are available on GOV.UK (link is external)

Funeral Expenses Payments (FEP) Claims

Any customers requiring support with Bereavement or FEP, should be directed to contact the Bereavement Service on 0800 731 0469 or should download a FEP claim form from GOV.UK (link is external) until further notice. This will prevent customers trying to attend jobcentres. Customers in Scotland should be directed to the mygov.scot (link is external) website as they may be eligible for the Scottish Government’s Funeral Support Payment (link is external). Claims can be made online or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.

UC Claim Numbers

More than 135,000 new claims were made to UC (link is external) on 30 and 31 March 2020. Of the eligible claims, more than nine out of ten have been paid in full and on time. Since the pandemic began, around 1.8 million claims have been made to Universal Credit and almost 700,000 advance payments made to people.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

From 4 May HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for SEISS. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. Alternatively customers, or their agents, can go online and check eligibility for SEISS (link is external). The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. Further information if available on GOV.UK

Carers - Scotland

As part of the next emergency coronavirus legislation, the Scottish Government is proposing an additional £19.2 million investment in Carer’s Allowance Supplement (link is external). If approved by parliament, around 83,000 eligible carers will get an extra £230.10 through a special one-off Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June. This is in recognition of the additional pressure that carers are under as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Tax Credits

Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments (link is external) affected if they are still employed or self-employed. These customers do not need to contact HMRC about this change.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans (link is external) worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme.

Webinars for SMEs

The Department for International Trade is hosting a series of coronavirus (COVID-19) webinars, free for SMEs across the UK. The webinars, led by nearly 100 expert leads (link is external), will offer practical advice to SMEs and focus on issues businesses trading internationally are facing.

Rough Sleepers Taskforce

A specialist taskforce (link is external) has been created to lead the next phase of the government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic. Spearheaded by Dame Louise Casey, they will work with councils on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets.

Programme to Provide Meals - England

A £16m programme (link is external) will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities. At least 5,000 frontline charities and community groups in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. It will cover rural areas as well as cities, targeting those who are struggling to get food.

Discretionary Assistance Fund - Wales

An extra £11m (link is external) is being made available to help families facing hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of people will be the most vulnerable in society due to issues relating to poverty, physical and mental health issues and are therefore at greater risk from the impacts of coronavirus.

Help for Small Charities - Wales

Thousands of small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector will receive a £10,000 business support grant (link is external) to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19, the Welsh Government has announced. This includes charity run shops, sports premises and community centres which, until now, have not been eligible for this type of support.

SME Support - Scotland

A fund launched last week to provide grants for small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) is to be doubled from £45m to £90m (link is external). The aim of the fund, which is managed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise, is to provide grants to SMEs which are vital to Scotland’s local or national economy but have been made vulnerable by this crisis.

Getting People Online - Scotland

A new £5 million programme (link is external) will offer an internet connection, training and support, and a laptop or tablet to vulnerable people who are not already online. The Connecting Scotland programme will connect 9,000 more people who are considered at clinically high risk themselves so they can access services and support and connect with friends and family during the pandemic.

Funds to Move Women Away from Crime - England and Wales

£2.5 million (link is external) is being made available to community services across England and Wales which support women at risk of being drawn into crime. The funding will help cover core costs such as wages, rent and bills. By tackling the root causes of offending these services will help divert women away from criminality and out of prison wherever possible.

Support for Vulnerable

£76 million package of support (link is external) to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic has been announced. This funding will support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery as well as ensuring vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

Tags: DWP Covid-19
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