Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Jonathan Ashworth (LAB - Leicester South)
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Liberal Democrat
Wendy Chamberlain (LDEM - North East Fife)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Labour
Baroness Wilcox of Newport (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
Baroness Sherlock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Janke (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Democratic Unionist Party
Sammy Wilson (DUP - East Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Scottish National Party
Kirsty Blackman (SNP - Aberdeen North)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Matt Rodda (LAB - Reading East)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)
Vicky Foxcroft (LAB - Lewisham, Deptford)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
Alison McGovern (LAB - Wirral South)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
Karen Buck (LAB - Westminster North)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
Ministers of State
Chloe Smith (CON - Norwich North)
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Mims Davies (CON - Mid Sussex)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Guy Opperman (CON - Hexham)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
David Rutley (CON - Macclesfield)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Scheduled Event
Monday 4th July 2022
18:00
Department for Work and Pensions
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
4 Jul 2022, 6 p.m.
The draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Governance and Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2022
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 6th July 2022
09:00
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
6 Jul 2022, 9 a.m.
Protecting pension savers – five years on from the pension freedoms: Saving for later life
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Scheduled Event
Monday 11th July 2022
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Jul 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 23rd June 2022
DWP Office Closures
Adjournment Debate
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 29th June 2022
13:01
COL0051 - The cost of living
Written Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Children in poverty: Child Maintenance Service

Children in poverty: Child Maintenance Service is the third and final part of the Committee’s wider inquiry into children in …

Written Answers
Friday 1st July 2022
Pension Credit: Romford
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners are in receipt of pension credit in …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 23rd June 2022
Chemicals (Health and Safety) Trade and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2022
These Regulations make provision under section 2(1) of the Trade Act 2021 to implement provisions relating to co-operation in the …
Bills
Wednesday 15th June 2022
Social Security (Additional Payments) Act 2022
A Bill to make provision about additional payments to recipients of means-tested benefits, tax credits and disability benefits.
Dept. Publications
Saturday 2nd July 2022
00:15
Treaty
Tuesday 12th February 2019

Department for Work and Pensions Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jun. 06
Oral Questions
Mar. 17
Urgent Questions
Jun. 15
Westminster Hall
Jun. 23
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Work and Pensions Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament


A Bill to provide for certain social security rules which apply where life expectancy is 6 months or less to apply instead where life expectancy is 12 months or less

Lords Completed
Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Thursday 23rd June 2022
(Read Debate)

Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to make provision about additional payments to recipients of means-tested benefits, tax credits and disability benefits.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Tuesday 28th June 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision relating to the up-rating of certain social security benefits payable in the tax year 2022-23.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 17th November 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about pension schemes

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 11th February 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 23rd September 2020

A Bill To make provision relating to the up-rating of certain social security benefits.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 23rd November 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Work and Pensions - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations make provision under section 2(1) of the Trade Act 2021 to implement provisions relating to co-operation in the regulation of chemicals contained in the EEA EFTA Agreement. The Regulations also make amendments to retained EU legislation in exercise of powers conferred by sections 8(1) and 8C(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and by paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 to that Act.
These Regulations amend the Social Security (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1976 (“the 1976 Regulations”) and the Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Regulations 1985 (“the 1985 Regulations”).
View All Department for Work and Pensions Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
9,003 Signatures
(651 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
2,992 Signatures
(290 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
394 Signatures
(127 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
25,897 Signatures
(92 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The government should implement an immediate Universal Basic Income trial for all UK residents to ensure home and food security through the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis, to support the needs of those that need to self-isolate as well as the public health at large, and the wider economy.

Ensuring statutory adoption pay is available to a self-employed parent in the same way that maternity allowance is available for self-employed new mums would promote an equal and fair society inclusive of all routes to parenthood.

View All Department for Work and Pensions Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Work and Pensions Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Work and Pensions Committee
Stephen Timms Portrait
Stephen Timms (Labour - East Ham)
Work and Pensions Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Desmond Swayne Portrait
Desmond Swayne (Conservative - New Forest West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Stephens Portrait
Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ben Spencer Portrait
Ben Spencer (Conservative - Runnymede and Weybridge)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Selaine Saxby Portrait
Selaine Saxby (Conservative - North Devon)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Nigel Mills Portrait
Nigel Mills (Conservative - Amber Valley)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Steve McCabe Portrait
Steve McCabe (Labour - Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Independent - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Siobhan Baillie Portrait
Siobhan Baillie (Conservative - Stroud)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Shaun Bailey Portrait
Shaun Bailey (Conservative - West Bromwich West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Debbie Abrahams Portrait
Debbie Abrahams (Labour - Oldham East and Saddleworth)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Work and Pensions Committee: Upcoming Events
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence
Protecting pension savers – five years on from the pension freedoms: Saving for later life
6 Jul 2022, 9 a.m.
At 9.15am: Oral evidence
Guy Opperman MP - Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion at Department of Work and Pensions
Joanne Gibson - Acting Director of Private Pensions and ALBs at Department for Work and Pensions

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50 most recent Written Questions

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Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department spent on external consultants in each of the last five years.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publishes details about headcount and payroll costs for permanent staff and contractors on GOV.UK, monthly.

DWP workforce management information - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The DWP consultancy spend for the financial years ending 2018 through to 2022 is shown below.

2017/18 £7,200,259

2018/19 £4,446,169

2019/20 £4,570,665

2020/21 £1,284,861

2021/22 £1,041,058

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Department for Work and Pensions staff are in receipt of universal credit.

Employees claiming Universal Credit have no obligation to inform DWP they are receiving benefits.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners are in receipt of pension credit in Romford constituency as of 27 June 2022.

In November 2021, there were an estimated 1,746 Pension Credit claimants in Romford constituency.

Estimates for the number of Pension Credit claimants per constituency can be found on Stat-Xplore. The latest data is for November 2021.

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for using Stat-Xplore is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of carers received both (a) the carer element of Universal Credit and (b) Carer's Allowance in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Northern Ireland in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of carers received both (a) Pension Credit and (b) Carer Addition in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Northern Ireland in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of carers received both the (a) Carer’s Allowance and (b) Carer Premium in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Northern Ireland in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of carers received Carer's Allowance but do not live with the person they care for in (i) England, (ii) Wales, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Northern Ireland in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the position of Chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board was advertised publicly prior to Sir Robert Walmsley’s appointment in July 2013.

The position of Chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board was not advertised. Sir Robert Walmsley was appointed on recommendation by the Major Project Authority

(now Infrastructure and Projects Authority).

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) data sources and (b) management information her Department uses to assess how many people on out of work benefits move into work.

The Department uses internal Universal Credit (UC) Management Information and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Real Time Information data, to assess the number of people entering work.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what is the Housing Benefit administration subsidy allocation for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the 2022-23 financial year.

The allocations of Housing Benefit Administration Subsidy are published annually within Housing Benefit Subsidy Circulars. The allocations for 2022-23 can be found in Circular S6/2022 on www.gov.uk

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 31 May 2022 to Question 8086, on Universal Credit Programme Board: Public Appointments, for what reason the Universal Credit Programme Board is not (a) listed in the Public Appointments Order in Council 2019 and (b) subject to regulation by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Cabinet Office was notified and approved the appointment of a Non-executive Programme Board Chair. The UC Programme Board was not listed in the Public Appointment Order in Council 2019 as the Cabinet Office did not see it as necessary. Therefore, the UCPB is not a body subject to regulation by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the maximum amount claimable for childcare costs under Universal Credit compared with regional increases in the cost of childcare.

No such assessment has been made.

In Universal Credit, working families can claim up to 85%, increased from 70% in legacy benefits, of their eligible registered childcare costs each month regardless of the hours worked. This equates to a maximum support of £646.35 per month for one child and £1,108.04 per month for two or more children.

The current childcare offer is comprehensive, broad ranging and reflects different family circumstances, covering children over a range of ages. We believe that helping parents with their childcare costs is one of the best ways to help people into work, support families with the cost of living, and ensure every child has the opportunity of a high-quality early education.

The UC childcare policy aligns with the wider government childcare offer, which includes 15 hours per week free childcare for disadvantaged 2-year-olds and 3-&4-year-olds. This doubles to 30 hours per week free childcare for working parents of 3-&4-year-olds. The UC childcare element can be used to top up a claimant’s eligible free childcare hours if more hours are worked and childcare required. This offer means that for some claimants’ childcare costs should not present any barriers to entering work.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will invite the new Chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board to publish a statement on his priorities for the Board’s work in the run-up to the managed migration phase of the roll-out of Universal Credit.

Managed migration phase restarted in May 2022. The first phase of this is a Discovery with controlled volumes, where we are working with small numbers of existing benefit claimants to identify how best to ensure people can smoothly transition to Universal Credit.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households had deductions to their Universal Credit award to repay debt due to previous overpayment, including advances, for the most recent month available; and what was the average amount that was deducted.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances.

Since April 2021, we have reduced the normal maximum rate of deductions in Universal Credit from 40% to 30 % to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance. These positive measures were put in place to support claimants to manage financial difficulties.

Advances are a claimant’s benefit entitlement paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. They ensure nobody has to wait for a payment in Universal Credit and those who need it are able to receive financial support as soon as possible. Claimants can receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit award if required, resulting in 25 payments over a 24-month period. This is not a debt.

The information requested is provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Universal Credit claimants in each parliamentary constituency had sums deducted from their claim to repay debt due to previous overpayment, including advances, in the most recent month for which data is available; and what were the (1) average, and (2) total, sums deducted in each constituency.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances.

Since April 2021, we have reduced the normal maximum rate of deductions in Universal Credit from 40% to 30 % to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance. These positive measures were put in place to support claimants to manage financial difficulties.

Advances are a claimant’s benefit entitlement paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. They ensure nobody has to wait for a payment in Universal Credit and those who need it are able to receive financial support as soon as possible. Claimants can receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit award if required, resulting in 25 payments over a 24-month period. This is not a debt.

The information requested is provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) deaths, and (2) serious injuries, (a) on farms, and (b) in agriculture generally, have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last 10 years.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishes official statistics on deaths and injuries at work. Data specifically for agriculture and farms is reproduced in the tables below.

Table 1: Number of fatal injuries to both workers (employees and the self-employed) and members of the public (a) on farms and (b) in the agricultural sector, 2011/12-2020/21.

Source: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)

Farms (a)

Agriculture Sector (b)

Year

Workers

Members of the public

Workers

Members of the public

2011/12

27

6

35

6

2012/13

29

5

31

5

2013/14

26

4

27

4

2014/15

30

3

32

4

2015/16

26

2

27

2

2016/17

25

3

26

3

2017/18

27

3

29

4

2018/19

31

6

32

7

2019/20r

18

1

21

2

2020/21p

32

7

34

7

Table 2: Number of reported (f) non-fatal injuries to employees (a) on farms and (b) in the agricultural sector each year 2011/12-2020/21.

Source: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)

Year

Farms (a)

Agriculture sector (b)

2011/12 (c)

881

1,110

2012/13 (d)

681

861

2013/14 (e)

688

861

2014/15

785

936

2015/16

733

890

2016/17

697

869

2017/18

664

814

2018/19

714

849

2019/20r

703

845

2020/21p

626

738

Footnotes

(a) Farms defined as Division 01, Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities, of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification.

(b) Agriculture defined as Section A, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification.

(c) Due to a major change in the RIDDOR non-fatal injury reporting requirements in April 2012, injuries reported prior to 2012/13 are not directly comparable with later years.

(d) RIDDOR reporting requirements for non-fatal injuries changed on 1 April 2012. From this date, non-fatal injuries resulting in more than 7 days absence from work (previously more than 3 days absence) or specified on a pre-defined list of major injuries were reportable.

(e) A further change in reporting requirements was introduced in October 2013 when the pre-defined list of reportable non-fatal injuries was updated.

(f) While RIDDOR requires employers to report certain workplace non-fatal injuries to workers, generally the more serious, it is known that employers substantially under-report these non-fatal injuries, particularly in relation to self-employed workers. Hence Table 2 presents number of reports for employees only.

r- revised; p- provisional

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households had deductions from legacy benefits to repay debt due to previous overpayment for the most recent month available; and what was the average amount that was deducted for those households.

During May 2022, 170,000 individual claimants had deductions taken from their legacy benefits in order to repay overpaid benefits. The average deduction taken in that month was £61.

DWP has a duty to protect public funds and an obligation to ensure that overpaid benefit payments are recovered in accordance with the appropriate social security legislation. However, we seek to discharge that duty without causing undue financial hardship.

We therefore have an established route by which anyone experiencing difficulties with repayments is encouraged to contact DWP Debt Management in order to negotiate a possible reduction in their rate of repayment, or a temporary suspension of repayment, depending on financial circumstances.

In exceptional circumstances there is also discretion to waive recovery of an overpayment, but only were there are compelling grounds to show that recovery of the overpayment is detrimental to the health and/or welfare of the debtor or their family.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she intends to respond to the correspondence of 29 April 2022 from the hon. Member for West Lancashire on a delayed state pension, reference ZA59597.

A response was sent to the hon. member on 30 June 2022.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department provides advice and guidance for people who are trying to reconcile their pension when part of their contributions were made in the US under the agreement between that country and the UK.

If a customer has not paid enough National Insurance contributions to be entitled to a UK State Pension, but has worked and paid contributions in the USA, an investigation would take place to establish if contributions made in the USA can be taken into consideration towards a claimant’s UK State Pension, under the reciprocal agreement between the UK and USA.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will assist with obtaining a response from the Director for the Child Maintenance Service to the letter from the hon. Member for West Lancashire dated 27 April 2022, reference ZA59581 in relation to a child maintenance issue.

When DWP receive correspondence from a Member of Parliament, they aim to fully resolve or agree a resolution within 15 working days of receipt. Complex issues may take longer to resolve.

DWP contacted the hon. Members office on 28 June 2022 confirming a full response will be sent to them within the next 7 days.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 17 June to Question 15252, if his Department will publish the guidance produced in support of performance measures and delivery of the Way to Work campaign.

Way to Work is a campaign to move 500,000 job-ready Universal Credit and Job Seekers Allowance claimants into work by the end of June 2022, it is not a new policy and we have not produced specific guidance in relation to Way to Work. The focus is to support people into work swiftly by using the strength of the jobs market and we are working closely with employers to help claimants into jobs quicker, as well as strengthening our core support for jobseekers.

Universal Credit guidance is deposited in the House of Commons library twice a year, the latest published guidance was deposited on 26 April 2022 and can be found here.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people had secured a job as a result of the Way to Work campaign, as at 26 June 2022.

As of 29 June, we estimate that at least 505,400 unemployed Universal Credit claimants and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants have moved into work during the Way to Work Campaign between 31 January and the end of 26 June 2022.

This total figure is composed of our into work measure to the end of May (over 386,000) and our internal management information up to 26 June (58,900). We are now also able to include JSA claimants who have moved into work between 31 January and 9 June 2022 (35,100) into our total. Furthermore, we have also included those claimants with a sanction in place that moved into work during the period of the campaign up to 26 June (25,400). Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but is provided in the interests of transparency and timeliness.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer received on 17 June to Question 15254, how long the audit will take.

The 2021-22 ARA will be published on the 7 July. This year’s reported expenditure will include a breakdown of our Employment programmes expenditure.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 17 June to Question 15255, how long the audit will take.

The 2021-22 ARA will be published on the 7 July. This year’s reported expenditure will include a breakdown of our Employment programmes expenditure.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been moved into employment through the Way to Work scheme in (a) North West Norfolk, (b) Norfolk and (c) East Anglia.

We estimate that so far 14,940 unemployed Universal Credit claimants in the East Anglia Jobcentre Plus District have moved into work during the Way to Work Campaign between 31 January and 19 June 2022.

This cumulative figure is composed of our into work measure to the end of May (13,480) and our internal management information up to 19 June (1,460). This figure includes claimants with a sanction in place that moved into work during the period of the campaign (800). Unlike the Way to Work data published in response to PQ 19742, this does not include movements into work from JSA claimants as they cannot be broken down to Jobcentre Plus District level. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

We are unable to provide data relating to the North West Norfolk parliamentary constituency, the Norfolk local authority area, or the East Anglia Office for National Statistics (ONS) regional area as to produce it would incur disproportionate cost.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but is provided in the interests of transparency and timeliness.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the performance management framework for (a) work coaches and (b) managers of Jobcentre Plus districts includes an assessment of the number of people in their caseloads who find work.

Our Jobcentre teams are committed to delivering a quality service to ensure all claimants receive the best possible support to meet their individual circumstances. Our service delivery framework sets out the service expectations for our Jobcentre network and the requirements for how they deliver their services. The framework doesn't include an assessment of the number of people who move into work. Line managers coach their teams to ensure Work Coaches are skilled and empowered to manage their caseloads and are focussed on helping claimants move into or closer to work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) impact on claimants of the requirement for all overpayments to be collected from Universal Credit claimants in the context of the proportion of claimants who are having a collection for an overpayment applied.

DWP has a responsibility to the taxpayer to recover any monies overpaid to benefit claimants and to do so in the most efficient way possible. Last year, working with Local Authorities, we recovered £1.0 billion of overpaid benefit.

Recovery from benefit remains the most efficient source of recovery, with 90% of debt recovered this way in 2021-22. However, we recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt and legislation protects claimants from excessive deductions. This means there are limits set for individual deductions. In Universal Credit the overall deduction cap is set at 25% of the standard allowance, having been reduced from 40%.

Additionally, any deductions from benefit are prioritised which means that 3rd party deductions to help pay utility or rent arrears (for example) take precedence over overpayment recovery deductions.

Anyone experiencing hardship with repayments is encouraged to contact DWP Debt

Management to negotiate a reduction in their rate of repayment, or a temporary suspension of repayment, depending on financial circumstances.

We remain an active participant in Breathing Space, launched in May 2021 as part of The Debt Respite Scheme to support debtors struggling to cope with problem debt. We also signpost customers to trusted partners, who can provide impartial money and debt advice.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department monitors the performance of providers completing medical assessments for Personal Independence Claims; and whether she has taken steps in response to poor performance or customer service in the last five years.

It might be helpful to explain that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment is not a medical assessment as it does not require the Health Professional (HP) to diagnose a condition and to recommend treatment options. Instead, it requires the HP to look at the impact the condition or impairment has on an individuals’ daily life.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages the PIP contracts robustly and have a full set of service level agreements setting out our expectations for service delivery. We ensure a high standard is maintained, having an Independent Audit function that continually monitors performance, and provides feedback to its providers. The contracts allow us to recover any financial loss caused by poor performance, and we have the right to terminate the contract if there is sustained underperformance.

The department has worked continuously to drive improvements in the assessment service and providers have introduced a number of steps to increase performance across their services. This includes new or enhanced systems of assessment report quality checks, to improve the quality of advice the department receives. In addition, PIP assessment reports have been redesigned to have clearer justifications, which support improved benefit decision making.

PIP assessment providers have consistently exceeded their customer satisfaction target scores of 90% since the measure began in 2016.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps her Department has taken to help ensure accuracy in the payment of benefits.

DWP takes significant steps to ensure the accuracy of benefit payments. Our Enhanced Checking Service, a team of trained fraud specialists, look at suspicious cases referred to them by benefit processing staff, which helps prevent fraud from occurring at the outset of a claim. Our Integrated Risk & Intelligence Service (IRIS) detects and prevents emerging frauds, which allows our various Disrupt Teams to respond to threats.

We revisited over 900,000 Universal Credit (UC) claims paid under ‘Trust and Protect’ procedures during the early days of the pandemic. Additionally, building on what we have learnt during the pandemic, we are currently creating a dedicated team to deliver targeted case reviews of existing Universal Credit claims. We are expecting to review over 2 million cases over the next 5 years, stopping around £2 billion of losses due to fraud and error over that period.

We increasingly draw on data to help inform benefit payments and the use of HMRC’s Real Time Information has almost eradicated PAYE earnings fraud in UC. We have extended this principle across a range of legacy benefits by way of our Verify Earnings and Pensions (VEP) service.

The Department maintains rigorous control of Official Error via its Quality Assurance

Framework, which provides assurance that the necessary quality controls are in place.

An Independent Quality and Assurance Team checks transactions conducted within DWP benefits and this insight informs training requirements, infrastructure improvements and risk management. A senior stakeholder group, comprising of Directors, oversees the quality agenda.

UC Official Error overpayments have fallen in each of the last 3 years, from 2.1% of UC expenditure in 2018/19 to 0.7% in 2021/22.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the financial criteria for eligibility for the Social Fund Funeral Payment scheme; and what was the average proportion of funeral costs that this scheme covered in the last 12 months.

The Funeral Expenses Payments (FEP) scheme provides an important contribution towards the cost of a simple, respectful funeral arranged by someone who is in receipt of certain income related benefits or tax credits.


The scheme meets the necessary costs of a burial or cremation in full and offers up to £1000 to meet other funeral expenses such as, the cost of a coffin, church and funeral director fees. In April 2020, we increased the maximum amount families can claim for these additional costs by 43%, from £700 to £1000, providing vital financial support to families grieving the loss of a loved one.

The average FEP award in 2020/21 was £1,838, while the average cost of a cremation was £3,765 and average cost for a burial funeral was £4,927. (Costs vary significantly by region).

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made a recent assessment of the level of risk of incorrect child maintenance calculations being made as a result of fraudulent informal arrangements relating to other children.

The Child Maintenance Group keeps the risk of fraud within its business under review, and any cases [where it seems likely fraud has occurred] are investigated. Where fraud is found in informal arrangements relating to other children, the investigation staff may support a new maintenance assessment or use other criminal powers as necessary.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the government of Canada about a reciprocal social security agreement between the UK and Canada; and what response, if any, they received.

There are two separate social security arrangements in place between the UK and Canada, made in 1995 and 1998. The UK Government is not intending to change the social security relationship with Canada.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support UK pensioners in Commonwealth countries.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions, and we continue to up-rate it abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so – for example where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for up-rating.

People move abroad for many reasons and it is their own choice to do so. There is information available in leaflets and on GOV.UK on how to claim State Pension from overseas and on what the effect of going abroad will be on entitlement to the UK State Pension.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will take steps to ensure that carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance who do not live at the same address as the person they care for receive the £150 cost of living payment in recognition of the additional caring costs they face.

This Government recognises and values the vital contribution made by carers every day in providing significant care and continuity of support to family and friends, including pensioners and those with disabilities.

The weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance increased to £69.70 in April 2022. This means that since 2010 it has increased from £53.90 to £69.70 a week, providing an additional £800 a year for carers through Carer’s Allowance. Real terms expenditure on Carer’s Allowance in 2022/23 is forecast to be £3.4bn and between 2022/23 and 2026/27 is forecast to increase by just over a third (around £1.2 billion). By 2026/27, the Government is forecast to spend just over £4.5 billion a year on Carer’s Allowance.

Carers on low incomes can claim income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit. These benefits can be paid to carers at a higher rate than those without caring responsibilities through the carer element and the additional amount for carers respectively. Currently, the Universal Credit carer element is £168.81 per monthly assessment period, and the additional amount for carers in Pension Credit is £38.85 per week.   Around 405,000 (Feb 2022 data) carer households on Universal Credit can already receive around an additional £2,000 a year through the Carer Element.

Nearly 60% of carers on low incomes who are of working age and on Carer’s Allowance claim an income-related benefit through which they will be entitled to receive a £650 Cost of Living Payment (split over two instalments - the first one of £326 payable from 14 July). The £650 Cost of Living payment is being targeted at low income households who are in receipt of a means-tested income replacement benefit. There are no plans to amend the qualifying benefits for the Cost of Living Payment or to introduce payments for higher income households over and above what has already been announced.

Six million people in receipt of an eligible disability benefit will also receive the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. This includes carers who are themselves in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients who are domestic energy customers will receive a £400 rebate through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients in England who pay Council Tax should have received a £150 rebate.

In addition to support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support. In England this will be via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023 backed by £421m.

The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. The government will issue additional guidance to Local Authorities to ensure support is targeted towards those most in need of support, including those not eligible for the Cost of Living Payments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to extend the £650 cost of living payment to carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance but are under state pension age and do not receive a means tested benefit.

This Government recognises and values the vital contribution made by carers every day in providing significant care and continuity of support to family and friends, including pensioners and those with disabilities.

The weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance increased to £69.70 in April 2022. This means that since 2010 it has increased from £53.90 to £69.70 a week, providing an additional £800 a year for carers through Carer’s Allowance. Real terms expenditure on Carer’s Allowance in 2022/23 is forecast to be £3.4bn and between 2022/23 and 2026/27 is forecast to increase by just over a third (around £1.2 billion). By 2026/27, the Government is forecast to spend just over £4.5 billion a year on Carer’s Allowance.

Carers on low incomes can claim income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit. These benefits can be paid to carers at a higher rate than those without caring responsibilities through the carer element and the additional amount for carers respectively. Currently, the Universal Credit carer element is £168.81 per monthly assessment period, and the additional amount for carers in Pension Credit is £38.85 per week.   Around 405,000 (Feb 2022 data) carer households on Universal Credit can already receive around an additional £2,000 a year through the Carer Element.

Nearly 60% of carers on low incomes who are of working age and on Carer’s Allowance claim an income-related benefit through which they will be entitled to receive a £650 Cost of Living Payment (split over two instalments - the first one of £326 payable from 14 July). The £650 Cost of Living payment is being targeted at low income households who are in receipt of a means-tested income replacement benefit. There are no plans to amend the qualifying benefits for the Cost of Living Payment or to introduce payments for higher income households over and above what has already been announced.

Six million people in receipt of an eligible disability benefit will also receive the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. This includes carers who are themselves in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients who are domestic energy customers will receive a £400 rebate through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients in England who pay Council Tax should have received a £150 rebate.

In addition to support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support. In England this will be via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023 backed by £421m.

The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. The government will issue additional guidance to Local Authorities to ensure support is targeted towards those most in need of support, including those not eligible for the Cost of Living Payments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to help ensure that carers can meet their monthly expenses.

This Government recognises and values the vital contribution made by carers every day in providing significant care and continuity of support to family and friends, including pensioners and those with disabilities.

The weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance increased to £69.70 in April 2022. This means that since 2010 it has increased from £53.90 to £69.70 a week, providing an additional £800 a year for carers through Carer’s Allowance. Real terms expenditure on Carer’s Allowance in 2022/23 is forecast to be £3.4bn and between 2022/23 and 2026/27 is forecast to increase by just over a third (around £1.2 billion). By 2026/27, the Government is forecast to spend just over £4.5 billion a year on Carer’s Allowance.

Carers on low incomes can claim income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit. These benefits can be paid to carers at a higher rate than those without caring responsibilities through the carer element and the additional amount for carers respectively. Currently, the Universal Credit carer element is £168.81 per monthly assessment period, and the additional amount for carers in Pension Credit is £38.85 per week.   Around 405,000 (Feb 2022 data) carer households on Universal Credit can already receive around an additional £2,000 a year through the Carer Element.

Nearly 60% of carers on low incomes who are of working age and on Carer’s Allowance claim an income-related benefit through which they will be entitled to receive a £650 Cost of Living Payment (split over two instalments - the first one of £326 payable from 14 July). The £650 Cost of Living payment is being targeted at low income households who are in receipt of a means-tested income replacement benefit. There are no plans to amend the qualifying benefits for the Cost of Living Payment or to introduce payments for higher income households over and above what has already been announced.

Six million people in receipt of an eligible disability benefit will also receive the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment. This includes carers who are themselves in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients who are domestic energy customers will receive a £400 rebate through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

All Carer’s Allowance recipients in England who pay Council Tax should have received a £150 rebate.

In addition to support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support. In England this will be via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023 backed by £421m.

The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. The government will issue additional guidance to Local Authorities to ensure support is targeted towards those most in need of support, including those not eligible for the Cost of Living Payments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department is taking steps to support young people with autism into work.

Employment support is a transferred matter in Northern Ireland. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is committed to supporting young people with learning disabilities and/or autism move closer to the labour market or into work, and we have a number of initiatives to support people with Autism through Jobcentres across Great Britain.

The DWP Youth Offer provides intensive support through the Youth Employment Programme, Youth Employability Coaches for young people with additional barriers to work, and Youth hubs. Our Work Coaches and Youth Employability Coaches are supported by Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) who offer advice and expertise on how best to help disabled people into work.

DWP has been working with the National Autistic Society to design and develop a service delivery framework for people with Autism. The service delivery framework aims to transform the service available to jobseekers on the autism spectrum. This trial is now complete with all 15 sites having passed their accreditation test. We are considering how best to take the Jobcentre Plus Autism Accreditation forward.

For those learning disabled and autistic people who do find themselves excluded from the workplace, starting this Autumn, DWP will invest £7.2 million in Local Supported Employment services, working with around 20 Local Authorities to enable more social care users with a learning disability and autistic social care users to access the support needed to help them get into work and remain in employment.

Furthermore, Young people with Autism can access further employment support through Jobcentres including priority access to the Work and Health Programme in England and Wales, for people with health conditions, and Intensive Personalised Employment Support provision across the UK, which provides highly personalised packages of employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions who require specialist support to achieve sustained employment. Access to Work is also available, which is a demand-led discretionary grant scheme that provides funding for the extra disability-related costs people have when starting work or maintaining employment.

Additionally, Supported Internships are aimed at young people with a learning disability or autism who have an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan. Supported internships usually last for 12 months and provide support from a specialist job coach. Whilst the Department for Education lead on this in England, the Department for Work and Pensions provides support through Access to Work where needed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people received Pension Credit in the 2020-21 financial year.

Estimates for the number of people eligible for Pension Credit are only available at the Great Britain level and are available in the “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up” publication which can be found on the statistics section of gov.uk. The latest publication relates to the financial year 2019 to 2020.

Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Department for Communities is responsible for Pension Credit in Northern Ireland. Estimates for the number of people eligible for Pension Credit in Northern Ireland are available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/northern-ireland-benefit-statistics-summary-february-2021

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of changing the Support for Mortgage Interest loan system to a means-tested benefit system.

No assessment has been made of changing Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) loans to a means-tested benefit system.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of restoring Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) to a means-tested benefits system in place of the current loan system.

No assessment has been made of changing Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) loans to a means-tested benefit system.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the data her Department holds on the referrals of benefit claimants for literacy training by Job Centre Plus to providers in 2021.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given to PQ15249

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the data her Department holds on the referrals of benefit claimants for numeracy training by Job Centre Plus to providers in 2021.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given to PQ15249

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the data her Department holds on the referrals of benefit claimants for digital skills training by Job Centre Plus to providers in 2021.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given to PQ15249

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many refugees have been interviewed at job centres in each year since 2017.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken in this Parliament to help disabled people get into work and close the disability employment gap.

A range of DWP initiatives are supporting disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives and start, stay and succeed in work. These include the Work and Health Programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident. and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.

Over the next three years we will invest £1.3bn in employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions.

In 2017 the Government set a goal to see one million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027. The latest figures released for Q1 2022 show that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2022 the number of disabled people in employment increased by 1.3m – meaning the goal has been met after only five years.

The disability employment gap was 28.2 percentage points in Q1 2022. This is a decrease of 0.2 percentage points on the year, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points since Q1 2020 and an overall decrease of 5.6 percentage points since the same quarter in 2014.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is between prospective claimants applying for Personal Independent Payments and being assessed.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Available data on journey times for PIP New Claims is published in Table 1A of Personal Independence Payment statistics to April 2022, published on 14 June 2022 here.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average backdated payment is for a Personal Independence claimant once they have gone through the full application, assessment and appeals processes.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the waiting times for personal independent payment medical assessments.

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment is not a medical assessment as it does not require the Health Professional (HP) to diagnose a condition and to recommend treatment options. Instead, it requires the HP to look at the impact the condition or impairment has on an individuals’ daily life.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is committed to assessing people as quickly as possible, in order that they receive the benefit and support they are entitled to in a timely manner. DWP has worked continuously with providers to drive improvements, to develop the PIP assessment process and how these impact on overall processing times. Telephone assessments were introduced at pace in 2020, when face-to-face assessments were suspended due to the pandemic, with video assessments introduced shortly after. These continue to be delivered alongside face-to-face and paper-based assessments.

Reducing processing times is a priority for the department, however under business-as-usual conditions, there may be referrals that take longer to progress. For example, an interpreter is required in a less common language, or a home visit to be arranged in a remote location. In addition, some claimants also fail to attend assessments for numerous reasons, which requires the department to understand and decide if a new referral to the assessment provider is needed. In these circumstances the overall time from claim registration to the claimant having an assessment may be extended.

The department has recently reiterated its commitment to continuously improve our services in ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper’.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill would give an entitlement to cost of living payments to self-employed Universal Credit claimants who do not receive a regular payment due to the minimum income floor.

Claimants who had their UC award reduced to zero by the Minimum income floor and did not receive a UC payment during the qualifying period, will not be eligible for a cost-of-living payment.

For those that are not eligible for this support, or for families that still need additional support; the Government is providing an additional £500 million to help households, on top of what has been provided since October 2021, bringing total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, this will take the form of an extension to the Household Support Fund backed by £421m and is administered by Local Authorities. Devolved administrations will receive £79 million through the Barnett formula.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)