DWP: Touchbase – Fri 21 April

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Cost of Living Stakeholder Toolkit 

From 25 April to 17 May, households receiving DWP means-tested benefits will receive the first 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment of £301.The payment will automatically be paid into the bank accounts of those eligible meaning they will not need to do anything to receive the money. 

The Cost of Living Stakeholder Toolkit includes everything organisations need to communicate the Cost of Living Payment with a range of resources including suggested newsletter and social media copy in English and Welsh, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), Easy Read information sheet and a British Sign Language video. 

More information on the Cost of Living Payment

Support for Mortgage Interest loan scheme extended  

The Support for Mortgage Interest loan scheme has been extended to 200,000 additional Universal Credit claimants to support more households with the cost of living. 

They will be able to access help towards mortgage interest on their home or certain home improvements worth up to £200,000. Support will be automatically offered to qualifying claimants after three months on Universal Credit. 

Read the full press release

Jobcentre Plus arrangements over 1 and 8 May bank holidays

Jobcentre Plus opening times are different for the bank holiday on 1 May and for the King’s Coronation on 8 May. 

  • Monday 1 May offices and phonelines are closed
  • Monday 8 May offices and phonelines are closed 

To make sure people get their payment on a day when Jobcentre Plus offices are open, some payments will be paid early:  

  • If the expected payment date is Monday 1 May, benefits will be paid on Friday 28 April 
  • If the expected payment date is Monday 8 May, benefits will be paid on Friday 5 May 

If the expected payment date is not shown, customers will get their money on their usual payment date. 

Reminder – Emergency Alerts campaign

Emergency Alerts is a UK Government service that will warn you if there is a danger to life nearby. In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe only where there is a risk to life, either locally or nationally. This could include public health emergencies, severe floods, fires and industrial incidents. 

The service will be sending out a test alert on Sunday 23 April at 3pm. The test alert will be sent to all compatible phones in the UK. It will clearly indicate that no action is required and that this is a test of the system.  

We would really appreciate your support in spreading the word about this new service and the test taking place. A stakeholder toolkit has been created with a factsheet and assets for you to share amongst your colleagues, customers and networks.  

Find out more 

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland assets.  

Reminder – Voter ID campaign

The Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections.

This new requirement will apply for the first time at the local elections taking place in some areas of England on Thursday 4 May 2023.

Anyone who does not have an accepted form of photo ID will be able to apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can play an important role in supporting voters to ensure they have photo ID ahead of the elections.

The Electoral Commission has created partner packs for organisations in England. They are designed to help raise awareness, and to support people to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, ahead of the local elections in May 2023. The packs also include information on voter registration.

We would appreciate if you could please share the information about the new requirement with your audiences and on your social media channels (social assets are in the partner pack) – you can also retweet the Electoral Commission.

King’s Coronation Toolkit

During this time of celebration, the Cabinet Office have created a visual toolkit for partners, businesses, trade organisations, Arm’s Length Bodies and the public sector to show the country speaking with one voice of unity.

The toolkit includes artwork files, adverts, posters and digital screens, animations, social assets and even flags.

Please feel free to display the coronation graphics on websites, social media profiles, digital screens, and shop windows between now and the bank holiday weekend 6-8 May.