During Department for Work and Pensions Questions in Parliament today, Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham Selly Oak) questioned the Minister about how the Department will ensure that vulnerable people, particularly those with mental health issues and learning difficulties, are supported as they are moved over to Universal Credit as part of the ‘Managed Migration’ process.
He wanted to know that vulnerable people would be guaranteed face to face and telephone support rather than have to rely solely on online support which simply won’t be good enough for those struggling to understand the changes.
The Minister told Steve that Jobcentre staff are receiving extra training to support vulnerable people.
At the moment people are moved to Universal Credit if they make a new claim or have a change in circumstances. From autumn, the Department for Work and Pensions are starting the ‘Managed Migration’ process which will mean everyone else who currently receives ‘legacy’ benefits moved over to Universal Credit.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“It’s all very well the Minister telling me jobcentre staff have had extra training but I just do not see how they are equipped to help the thousands of people currently in receipt of benefits move over the Universal Credit. Particularly considering the large numbers of constituents already in touch with me who have been experiencing real problems. This looks like a disaster waiting to happen and it will be some of my most vulnerable constituents who will face the option of heating or eating as we go into the winter months.”