The roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) has been a national disgrace to the government and a disaster to claimants, many of whom have found themselves penniless and forced into debt or even evicted as a result of huge delays in payments – not to mention the intentional delays built into the process of switching from existing benefits to UC.
The Tories have attempted to justify their determination to press ahead with the roll-out – in spite of being informed by Labour, charities and campaigners of the hardship and suffering being caused by the chaos and unfitness of the UC system – by means of ridiculous claims or simply closing their ears.
But it seems the chaos is so profound that the government, without informing the public or press, has abandoned the extension of the system ‘until further notice’ in some of the areas where it has been launched.
DWP sources told the SKWAWKBOX:
Frontline staff have been notified that no new claims are being taken in ‘Live Service’ areas until further notice – claimants are to be advised to claim ‘legacy benefits’ such as ESA (Employment Support Allowance), JSA (Jobseeker’s Allowance) or IS (Income Support).
New UC claims are only being accepted in ‘Full Service’ areas.
‘Live Service’ areas are those where UC is active but has not been fully rolled out. ‘Full Service’ means UC has been fully rolled out.
Sources say that this unpublicised action is being taken because of serious issues with UC’s IT platform.
Sadly, claimants in areas where UC has been fully rolled out will continue to suffer under this inadequate system.
The DWP has been contacted for comment but has not so far responded.
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