Jobcentre staff will start to resume normal service from Wednesday 1st July and Jobcentre appointments will be phased back in. Jobcenteres have been running a significantly reduced service during lockdown and encouraged people to contact the Jobcentre online or by phone. But Jobcentres remained open to offer essential services to people unable to access the Jobcentre online or by phone, for example the homeless.
Benefits Sanctions Freeze Ended
Benefits sanctions, which were paused on March 30th, will also resume from Wednesday 1st July. Benefits sanctions are a made if your fail to meet the responsibilities agreed with the DWP. They usually result in having your benefits payments docked for a fixed period. The amount you’ll lose from your benefits payment and the length of time your benefits will be docked depends on why you’re being sanctioned.
Reasons for a benefits sanction including; failing to look for work, failure to attend a Universal Credit appointment or not accepting a reasonable job offer.
Over two million people have applied for benefits since the start of the Coronavirus crisis in March. The reopening of Jobcentre Plus offices will be carefully managed to accommodate for the increased number of Jobcentre claimants. Which is predicted to increase further in the coming months as furlough payments are decreased.