(asked on 16th October 2023) - View Source

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have expanded the capacity of the Department of Work and Pensions to provide local support to refugees who, as a consequence of the backlog of applications being cleared, have recently been given asylum.

This question was answered on 26th October 2023

Work Coaches have access to information on a range of services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants, including refugees. We also have access to a range of translation services to assist, should a claimant need support to overcome any language barriers.

Work Coaches receive training to help them build supportive relationships with claimants, including refugees, encouraging them to openly discuss any barriers, concerns, or problems as they emerge.

Work Coaches will provide tailored employment support to meet their customer’s needs. They utilise a wide range of tools to ensure that we are providing intensive employment support to these customers. This includes the use of Flexible Support Fund, Sector based work academy programme, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Jobs Fairs, collaboration with local partners and Group Information Sessions.

Claimants can also give permission to share their UC account journal with support workers. The opportunity to combine face to face contact with on-line support has helped alleviate some of the communication barriers within legacy benefits which were traditionally more reliant on telephone and written forms of communications. Work Coaches can also use the on-line account to remind claimants of any information needed in order to ensure that their claim is processed smoothly.

More generally, we are increasing capacity in our Decision Making teams, during both this and the next quarter, to help meet demand for benefit decisions.

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