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21 April, 2020 Open access

Access to means-tested benefits for prisoners on temporary release

New DWP guidance

New guidance has been issued in relation to prisoners on temporary release due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak accessing means-tested benefits.

In DMG Memo 07/20 and ADM Memo 05/20, published today, the DWP provides guidance on the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.409/2020). The memos highlight that, from April 2020, while prisoners generally have no entitlement to income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, state pension credit, or universal credit, this does not apply to prisoners temporarily released from a prison in England or Wales.

In addition, the guidance advises that the presence of temporarily released prisoners in a household claiming means-tested benefits will be taken into account in calculating entitlement, for example being included as a member of a claimant’s household.

NB - the regulations cease to have effect at the end of the period of eight months beginning on 13 March 2020.

DMG Memo 07/20 and ADM Memo 05/20 are available from gov.uk