The DWP have updated their Universal credit guidance to remove the exemption from sanctions for claimants who are affected by coronavirus.
Last week Benefits and Work revealed that Thérèse Coffey, had refused to say that benefits sanctions would remain suspended when the current ban ended last 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”.
We can now also reveal that at the end of last week the DWP updated their guidance on ‘Universal Credit if you have a disability or health condition’.
The guidance was updated, as follows, according to the updates list covering the page
1 July 2020
Removed the wording 'You will not get a sanction if you cannot keep to your Claimant Commitment because of coronavirus (COVID-19)'.
There is no explanation of how this will work in practice, but it gives DWP staff more freedom to apply sanctions to disabled claimants who are a greater risk from COVID-19 and have altered their behaviour accordingly.