You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Pandemic benefits claimants face extra checks

Written by: Emma Lunn
People who applied for Universal Credit as Covid hit might now have to provide proof that they were entitled to the money, as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) introduces further checks.

In the early stages of the pandemic last year, the DWP introduced new measures to make sure people could apply for benefits quickly, without the need to visit a Jobcentre.

It introduced a system called Trust and Protect which allowed applications to proceed without the normal confirmatory checks and meant that some of the requirements relating to proof of identity, housing costs and household circumstances were eased.

However, the DWP has now set up a team tasked with examining all claims made under this fast -track process since last spring.

People who claimed Universal Credit, ‘new style’ Jobseekers Allowance, and ‘new style’ Employment and Support Allowance last spring may now be contacted by the DWP. Benefits claimants will be contacted via their online journal or a call from the Jobcentre – this may show up as a withheld number.

If you can’t provide the right evidence, or you cannot be contacted by officials seeking to verify your claim, your payments could be stopped or changed.

Lawrence Barratt, Citizens Advice benefits expert, said: “If you applied for Universal Credit in the early stages of the pandemic then the DWP may contact you for some additional information to support your claim.

“To ensure you don’t lose out on money you’re entitled to, make sure the contact information in your online journal is up to date. It’s also important to respond to any calls or emails from the DWP as soon as possible. If you don’t, there’s a risk your benefit payments could be stopped or changed.

“Citizens Advice can support you with free, independent advice if you’re struggling to provide the evidence you need or have any other questions about Universal Credit.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and the fresh round of walkouts take place tod...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week