Covid-19: Universal Credit Network Support & Info

Covid-19: Universal Credit Network Support & Info

We have pulled together this dedicated section of the website so that all of the Universal Credit (UC) information that we have been emailing out to the UC Network is in one place. This includes various documents and info that you will hopefully find useful in these challenging times. We will contine to update this page as we get more information to share with you.


Joint update from Southwark's four main advice agencies

Citizens Advice Southwark, Southwark Law Centre, Migrant Legal Action and Cambridge House Law Centre have shared this joint update about their current services and support. The update includes current helplines, web services and more.


Coronavirus briefing information from Citizens Advice Southwark

These documents are taken from the Citizens Advice public information website and contain links to other helpful pages on the site. 

 

Citizens Advice also offer support in community languages, for those who speak litle English. 

 

The government has recently announced the temporary suspension of some deductions from Universal Credit. Deductions for legacy benefit overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts will be paused for three months. Read more on this here


Southwark Law Centre FAQs document

Southwark Law Centre, with 11KBW Barristers, have produced this FAQs document on employment issues during the coronavirus.


Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) update: 

Face-to-face conditionality appoitments in jobcentres for three months

From Thursday 19 March, all face-to-face contact conditionality appointments with customers in job centres have been suspended for three months. This includes weekly and fortnightly work search reviews in UC and JSA and ESA (new style and legacy) and IS work-focused interviews. External communications have been issued, telling people not attend the job centre and to reassure them their payment will be unaffected.

A message has been added to all UC customers’ accounts confirming that face-to-face appointments will be rearranged. Where possible, customer contact and support is being provided digitally or by telephone, especially where customers are known to be vulnerable. If customers need to contact the DWP, they should do so by telephone or online, but the jobcentre network will remain open for customers who are not ill with coronavirus or self-isolating. 

 

Guidance for domestic abuse survivors to be safe

Finally, you will have heard that domestic abuse is increasing due to the lockdown, and amongst other things, many Latin American women find it very difficult to access help and support due to the language barrier. 

For this reason the Latin American Women's Rights Service has developed this guide in Spanish and Portuguese with guidance for survivors to be safe and for friends and families to support women in need. 


The UC Network

You can find out all about the UC Network here and how to join. We are holding an online Southwark Universal Credit Network - COVID-19 Special Q&A on the 28 April 2020.

If you have any questions around the UC Network please email Sari: sari@communitysouthwark.org, in the first instance, or Jo: jo@communitysouthwark.org.

 

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