23 March, 2020
Amendments to ESA and universal credit in response to the coronavirus outbreak
New DWP guidance
New guidance has been issued in relation to amendments to employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In particular, DMG Memo 04/20 and ADM Memo 02/20, provide guidance on the Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus Disease) Regulations 2020 (SI.No. 289/2020) which provide for -
- removal of the requirement to serve waiting days before ESA entitlement begins;
- a person who, on or after 13 March 2020, claims or has an existing award of ESA or universal credit, to be treated as having limited capability for work; and
- suspension of the minimum income floor;
- where the Secretary of State is satisfied that it would be appropriate to do so because the person is affected by COVID-19.
The guidance clarifies that a person is affected by COVID-19 if they are -
- infected or contaminated with COVID-19;
- in isolation in line with government advice so as to prevent infection or contamination with COVID-19; or
- caring for a child or qualifying young person who is a member of the person's household and who meets either of the above two bullet points.
DMG Memo 04/20 and ADM Memo 02/20 are available from gov.uk