Roundup of recent DWP announcements
Special Rules for Terminal Illness update
Fast-tracked access to benefits will be extended to a year from six months for people nearing the end of life, under changes due to take effect from 4 April.
This means that people who are thought to be in their final year of life will be able to receive vital support through the ‘Special Rules’ and given fast-tracked access to Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.
Those who are eligible will not be subject to a face-to-face assessment or waiting periods, and in most cases, they will receive the highest rate of benefits.
Energy Rebate Scheme update
This week, regulations on a disregard of the Energy Rebate Scheme 2022 payments were laid. This means that such payments will not be taken into account in the calculation of a Universal Credit claimant’s award – legislation already provides that the payments will be disregarded in legacy benefits. The regulations will come into force on 1 April 2022 and provide a disregard for 12 months from when the rebate is received.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) campaign
The Home Office has launched a national communications campaign to tackle violence against women and girls, called ‘Enough’. The aim of the campaign is to challenge perpetrators and raise awareness of what we can all do to safely call out abuse.
The campaign highlights different forms of violence and the simple acts that anyone can take to challenge perpetrators of abuse. Forms of violence represented include street harassment, coercive control, unwanted touching, workplace harassment, revenge-porn and cyber-flashing.
We would really appreciate your help and support to amplify the campaign messaging.
If you have any questions, please contact the VAWG Communications team: Enough@homeoffice.gov.uk
COVID-19 update and toolkit
Cabinet Office have shared their latest COVID-19 influencer and stakeholder toolkit. The key messages are:
- Continue to follow safer behaviours to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Unvaccinated pregnant women risk severe harm from COVID-19 infection to themselves and unborn baby.
- First and second vaccinations and boosters provide the best protection from COVID-19 infection.
Please support the programme, through your own social media channels, to encourage your audiences about the importance of getting vaccinated.
The Living Safely with COVID-19 Communities Webinar was held last week, and you can replay the recording, see the slide presentations, and read the full Q&A via this webpage.