- The claim for UC can be made online (although a telephone claim service is available to those who would struggle to make the claim on-line).
- All requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 19 March 2020.
- Members of the public not admitted into jobcentres unless they are directed to do so with a booked appointment.
- Only the most vulnerable claimants who cannot access DWP services by other channels will be invited to attend, with the public urged to use online services.
On the gov.uk website it states:
‘Don’t delay making your Universal Credit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus.
You can apply for Universal Credit online. If you need to make an appointment, call the number you are given when you submit your claim, and explain the situation. JobCentre Plus staff are ready to support you if you need to self-isolate.
What about verifying ID?
Claimants may be able to verify their ID online. If they are not able to do this then they will be asked to book a telephone appointment by ringing 0800 328 5644 or leaving a journal message. The DWP will then do the ID verification over the phone, using the trust and protect policy, with the aim of verifying this again face to face in the future.
More on verifying ID here
What about Advance Payments?
Where a claimant will struggle to manage without any payment for 5 weeks, they can request an Advance Payment. They can apply for this online, on their UC account. But before an Advance Payment can be made they have to have verified their ID.