28th April 2020
Dear Salford Partners,
We are hugely grateful to our stakeholders and partners for everything you have done, and continue to do, to support citizens and get accurate information to them during these uncertain times. Thank you for the important role you are playing.
You should have been receiving regular information from us about changes that apply to the organisation you represent. I wanted to update you on our current position, and signpost you to where you can get up to date information from our department.
DWP has experienced a huge increase in claims and our phone lines have been extremely busy as a result. We have taken urgent action to boost capacity, by moving large numbers of existing staff to help our front line colleagues, and we’re recruiting more.
New claims to Universal Credit should be done online where possible Customers do not need to call DWP to arrange an appointment and they shouldn’t attend the jobcentre.
People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call DWP as part of the process. Instead, a bolstered team are calling claimants back if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim. This change has been in effect since 9th April. It should free up phone lines for those unable to claim online.
All of this will mean our staff can make more calls, ensure claims are progressed as quickly as possible and get much needed support to those who need it.
You may be making changes to how you operate as an organisation as a result of coronavirus. Please keep in touch with details of how you are delivering your services and support via your local Partnership Manager. Contact details have been provided below:
Partnership Manager Local Authority Email Address
Here’s how you can keep up to date up with any changes we are making. This will help you when you are offering advice and support to local people.
GOV.UK is the primary site for all the key information to support individuals, businesses and other organisations. Here is a link to the dedicated pages GOV.UK: Coronavirus, which includes information on how to stay safe.
Part of the Department for Work and Pensions
DWP’s Employment and Benefits support
The Employment and Benefits support website includes the latest guidance and messages
on sick pay, existing benefit claims, new claims to benefit, self-employment, housing and
Register to receive the DWP Newsletter – Touchbase which is sent out each week to keep
you up to date on changes.
Subscribe and receive email alerts from Gov.uk. You may wish to add a search filter for
DWP or Coronavirus
Coronavirus business hub
The business hub on GOV.UK is the first point of call for people seeking government
information on support for business.
HMRC Help and Support
Employers in particular may wish to register to receive help and support emails from
HMRC. Individuals and businesses can sign up to receive email alerts about a range of
help and support products that are available. These include live and recorded webinars,
YouTube videos and online guides.
Housing Benefit Queries
DWP Housing Delivery Division have set up a dedicated team to ensure all Housing
Benefit issues and questions relating to Covid-19 are logged, addressed and answered.
All queries can be sent to a dedicated email address:
The current publicly available information about DWP benefits data is published monthly
and supported by Stat Xplore. Discussions are underway about whether additional data can
be made available to LAs at a sub-national level and at more frequent intervals.
Following consultation with relevant legal teams it is permissible for LAs to reuse the
following Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction data to identify vulnerable claimants to
support Covid-19 activity; Name, National Insurance Number, Address and contact details.
If Local Authorities wish to take advantage of this easement and re-use the claimant data
specified above, they must inform DWP Housing Delivery Division colleagues for audit
purposes by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org