Thank you to those who have contacted me about Universal Credit (UC) and the Managed Migration pilot in Harrogate.
I can assure you that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is continuously reviewing and improving the service for vulnerable people who claim UC to ensure that it is accessible and responsive to their needs.
Harrogate has had UC since 2016 which is earlier than many other places, and has a mix of benefit claimants with a varying range of needs. This means the lessons learned here will be directly applicable to places across the country that start moving claimants from the old system to the new system in 2020 and beyond. I have been assured that the DWP will take a careful approach to delivering the Managed Migration pilot. Claimants will be informed of their move in advance, receive full information and support from the DWP to move, including through home visits where appropriate.
I am also glad that the DWP is committed to ensuring that people who have cancer are treated with the upmost sensitivity and care, when making a claim to UC. For instance, when a claimant is asked to attend a Work Capability Assessment to determine entitlement to the additional component of UC specifically for disabled claimants, they must complete a UC50 questionnaire which incorporates a ‘light touch’ evidence gathering process for cancer patients. It makes clear that Clinical Nurse Specialists and consultants can provide information on the form, therefore making the claim and assessment process simpler for people with cancer.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation for you, and I will continue to follow these developments closely and support improvements when necessary.