DWP: Touchbase – Fri 15 July


Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Cost of Living support 

Over eight million households on means-tested benefits will automatically get the first Cost of Living payment instalment of £326 from this month. 

This means that, combined with other support, millions of low-income households across the UK will receive at least £1,200 from the Government by Christmas to ease Cost of Living pressures. 

  • £326 – the first of two cost of living payments – will automatically hit seven million bank accounts between 14 and 31 July 2022. Those on Tax Credit and no other benefits will receive their first payment by autumn. 
  • Second instalment of £324 will follow from the autumn, with separate payments for pensioners and disabled people also coming later this year 

Read the full press release and Cost of Living guidance.

Also, you may have seen in the media that there has been a significant increase in scammers attempting to obtain personal information from customers by sending out texts suggesting that customers are eligible for Cost of Living payments. 

Please remind customers that they do not have to do anything. If they are eligible: 

  • they will not need to apply for the payment 
  • they will not need to call us 
  • the payment to them is automatic 
  • DWP will never ask for personal details by SMS or email. 

Please help us spread the message by using the assets on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Last week we shared our toolkit for stakeholders. This has now been updated to include adaptable assets for you to add your own branding, as well as downloadable posters, social media and newsletter copy. We encourage you to share this material with your networks. 

Cost of Living Stakeholder Toolkit 15.07

Managed move of claimants to Universal Credit – discovery phase expands to Cornwall 

In April DWP announced plans to resume the programme to move all benefit claimants over to Universal Credit by 2024. From 25 July, we are expanding our discovery phase to include Truro and Falmouth. We will send a Migration Notice to a small number of claimants on legacy benefits to let them know that they need to move across to Universal Credit, explain how the process will work and what they will need to do.  

Everyone moving over from legacy benefits as part of this process will have their entitlement to Universal Credit assessed against their current claims, with transitional protection provided for eligible claimants whose initial Universal Credit entitlement would have been less than their entitlement to legacy benefits at the point of moving to Universal Credit. These will continue unless their entitlement changes. 

 A dedicated helpline – signposted on the migration notice claimants receive – will provide support for people to make their Universal Credit claim, and guidance will also be available online including on the Understanding Universal Credit website. Those in need of further support can also visit their local jobcentre.  

Child Maintenance Consultation – curfew orders

 The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has published a consultation “Improving our enforcement powers through the commencement of curfew orders”. It proposes to bring into force existing curfew powers requiring a non-compliant paying parent to remain at a specified place at specified times, for a period of up to six months. This would include an electronic tagging requirement to enable the paying parent’s compliance with the curfew to be monitored. As with the CMS’s current powers of driving licence and passport disqualification and commitment to prison, we expect the threat of a curfew to help compel paying parents to make their child maintenance payments.

The consultation is available for comments until 12 August 2022.

Childcare Choices toolkit 

Over a million families in the UK are entitled to support with the costs of childcare from the Government, but many are missing out because the childcare providers in their area haven’t signed up to accept the various offers.  

This also means that many childcare providers are missing out on boosting their businesses by increasing demand as they aren’t accessible to families who use government childcare offers.   

With the school summer holidays approaching, it is more important than ever that parents and carers can access the financial aid they qualify for. It can reduce their costs, help them to stay in work, or help them work more hours if they choose.  

To support as many parents as possible, the Department for Education has launched a campaign to increase awareness of the support families could be entitled to, along with the number of childcare providers who are accessible to parents using the different kinds of offers.  

Further information and assets to support the campaign can be found in the   
Childcare Providers information and communications toolkit