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The government has said that benefits reviews and reassessments remain suspended but has also indicated that jobcentres are to reopen and sanctions are to be reinstated.

In a parliamentary question on 17 June, Labour MP Angela Eagle wrote:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to extend the temporary suspension of reviews and reassessments for all benefits beyond 24 June 2020.

On 22 June Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, replied:

Our priority throughout this health emergency continues to be to protect the public and staff, while ensuring people get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and safely. Reviews and reassessments remain suspended while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice.

However, the Guardian has reported today that work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has refused to say that benefits sanctions will also remain suspended when the current ban ends on Wednesday.

Instead, Coffey told MPs:

“It’s important that as the jobcentres fully reopen this week, we do reinstate the need for having a claimant commitment,” she said.

“It’s an essential part of the contract to help people start to reconsider what vacancies there may be. But I know I can trust the work coaches, my jobcentre managers who are empowered to act proactively … there will be some people right now who’ve never had to look for a job in the last 20 to 30 years.”

But in a press release last week, the PCS union warned that reopening jobcentres “could create a perfect storm as staff and customers are faced with lack of social distancing, inadequate personal protective equipment and the real risk of Covid-19 being brought into workplaces.”

The PCS said that it understood that jobcentres would be reopening gradually, involving possibly just three this week, but that “a lack of adequate protection for staff and customers could lead to pandemonium.”


#3 Chris B 2021-02-02 15:20
Waiting years as my wife has done, for her mobility claim on mental health grounds to be looked at again, ref. a court judgment, had caused her blue badge to be withdrawn. She had to reapply for her badge after owning one for many year's. The process took six weeks to complete so no blue badge for six weeks. A face to face assessment with two blue badge assessors, one being a psychiatrist ! They walked he up and down the hall of the assessment building and granted her a new badge no problem.
Can you imagine the distress of a physical and metaly impaired person having to do all those tests to get what she is more than entitled to ?
The DWP offer no time scale to reassess he case and don't care about all the implications, shame on them.
#2 UB40 Rumrunner 2020-08-04 20:03
“It’s important that as the jobcentres fully reopen this week, we do reinstate the need for having a claimant commitment,” she said.""

Yes, wonderful.That delusional idea would and only partially work, in favorable economic times. Someone should inform the minister,'' to wake up and smell the coffee,'' we are on the verge of a depresion.So ultimately any agreement by them is effectively just a notion.People cant agree to that. :-*
+5 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2020-06-29 20:28
Tories at their finest, just can't wait to sanction people. Even though they face putting themselves and other at risk with infection of covid19. You just couldn't make the DWP up even if you tried. I doubt the DWP will increase claimants benefits so that they can get all the necessary PPE to protect themselves against being infected by member of the DWP and or vice versa.

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