DWP: Touchbase – 12th February 2021

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Coronavirus vaccination update

People do not need to wait to be contacted if any of the following apply:
they are aged 70 or over
they have previously received a letter saying that they are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
Appointments can be booked now at a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides the vaccinations.
Book coronavirus vaccination appointments online 

80,000 SWAP opportunities

This week DWP announced plans to increase the number of places available on our Sector-based Work Academy Programme to 80,000 for the next financial year, building on the 40,000 already successfully delivered over the last eight months.
SWAPs offer jobseekers across England and Scotland a six-week training programme, where they learn new skills, gain hands-on work experience and build their contacts in a new line of work. Every SWAP participant is guaranteed an interview at the end of their course for a live job vacancy.
Read the full press release.

Deadline to claim the Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount (Core Group) provides a £140 rebate on electricity bills to customers who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit and are a named account holder with a participating energy supplier.
Most eligible customers will receive the Warm Home Discount (WHD) automatically from their energy supplier, but those who have received a letter advising them to contact the WHD Helpline to claim the rebate, must call by 26th February 2021 (telephone 0800 917 1003).
WHD (Broader Group) rebates may also be available, direct from energy suppliers for recipients of certain other benefits. For full details of eligibility and further information on how to claim visit GOV.UK

Post Office Card Accounts

DWP is writing to all customers who currently receive their State Pension or benefit payments into a Post Office card account (POca). The letter informs them the POca service is closing and asks them to provide alternative account details.

Our dedicated customer service centre is available to take calls from POca customers, to accept new account details or answer any questions. We will ensure all future payments are switched to the customer’s new account from the next available payment date and there will be no interruptions with their payments.

For anyone who is unable to open a different type of account or provide new account details, a payment exception service will be available.

Customer Service Centre

Telephone: 0800 085 7133
Textphone: 0800 085 7146

Pension Schemes Act

This week the Pension Schemes Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament.
The main focus of the Act is to make pension schemes safer, better and greener. Safer, by cracking down on scams and unscrupulous bosses.
Better, by making pensions more accessible through the dashboard, and greener, by encouraging investment in a more sustainable way. Read the full press release

Are you affected by new rules for UK benefits that started on 1st January 2021?

Changes to some UK Benefits paid in the EU, and for EU citizens living in the UK came into effect on 1st January.
Please consider sharing our useful guide on what that means for those affected and their families