Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to meet representatives of the Trussell Trust to discuss the use of foodbanks in areas of full service rollout of Universal Credit.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 18 June 2018

Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions meet regularly with key stakeholders including the Trussell Trust, where a range of issues are discussed. We are also currently reviewing research carried out by organisations including the Trussell Trust to add to our understanding of food bank use and will consider requirements to add to our evidence base.

Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when ministers next plan to meet representatives of local government to discuss the provision of Universal Credit service support in areas of Universal Credit full roll out
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 18 June 2018

DWP has a long standing relationship with the local government sector. Most recently, on 25 April 2018, the Rt Hon. Ester McVey, Secretary of State, had a conference call with the Chair and other representatives of the Local Government Association (LGA) to discuss ways of working and future collaboration. Further meetings with the LGA are being planned, to cover a number of topics.

DWP’s Universal Credit Local Authority Engagement Team has continuous engagement with local authorities and we share and obtain feedback with them through a range of engagement approaches on Universal Credit and Universal Support. The team are currently holding the latest round of quarterly engagement events with local authorities and DWP staff in areas where Universal Credit Full Service is available, or soon to be rolled out.

Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Domestic Abuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide standalone training modules for Jobcentre Plus staff to enable them to deal with applications for Universal Credit from victims of physical or mental domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 13 June 2018

In supporting victims of domestic violence, the Jobcentre offers a range of support open to survivors and those still experiencing domestic abuse.

Work Coaches delivering Universal Credit undergo a comprehensive learning journey designed to equip them with the tools, skills and behaviours required to provide a high quality service to all claimants. Specific training and guidance is provided for working with different vulnerable groups, including people who have been the victims of domestic violence.

Work Coaches will signpost claimants to national and local organisations who can provide specialist support and apply the domestic violence easement, switching off all work-related requirements for a period of time.

A national call was held recently to raise awareness and understanding of domestic abuse across the Jobcentre network and a video has been produced to highlight good practice when supporting individuals who have been or are currently in a domestic abuse relationship.

Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Domestic Abuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Universal Credit applicants in full service areas have been allowed conditionality easements to date as a result of reported domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 13 June 2018

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

When a claimant reports domestic abuse to the Jobcentre Plus we will review their conditionality requirements, and provide easements where appropriate.

Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Domestic Abuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Universal Credit applicants in full service areas have been allowed split payments of benefit to date as a result of reported domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 13 June 2018

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

DWP will support a claimant to put in place a split payment where they have requested it as a result of domestic violence.

Asked on: 04 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Domestic Abuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Jobcentre Plus offices in Universal Credit full service areas have dedicated facilities for use as private interview suites when interviewing applicants who report domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 13 June 2018

The vast majority of Jobcentres delivering Universal Credit full service have private interview facilities as standard. In the small number of offices where they are not available we are able to make arrangements for customers at nearby offices which do have rooms, or arrange for a home visit to be made where it is appropriate to do so.

We always endeavour to deal with vulnerable claimants sensitively, taking into account the particular circumstances and individual needs of the customers.

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