Updated 1st April 2020
If you’re already claiming benefits
Changes to jobcentre appointments
People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.
People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.
You should not attend the jobcentre unless directed to do so for an exceptional purpose.
People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
If you apply for Universal Credit you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this using your online journal
Changes to health assessments
In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.
If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.
If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.
If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.
If you have made a new claim or wish to make a new claim, DWP will continue to take claims for all benefits.
Read the current NHS guidelines on coronavirus, including advice on those who should stay at home.