Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a devastating influence not solely within the UK however world wide, affecting individuals’s well being and having a monetary influence on huge numbers of individuals too. In a bid to assist these involved about cash throughout this tough time, Martin Lewis was readily available to reply coronavirus-themed queries throughout The Emma Barnett Present on BBC Radio 5 Stay yesterday.
In the course of the section, a caller – Steven – defined that they had been making an attempt to assert Common Credit score in the direction of the tip of final week.
In a bid to deal with elevated demand in the course of the UK lockdown, the Division for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched emergency measures for making use of for the profit – reminiscent of urging claimants to make use of on-line providers earlier than turning to the phone for assist.
Moreover, the Work and Pensions Secretary has taken the choice to restrict entry to jobcentres, that means members of the general public will at the moment not be admitted into jobcentres except they’re directed to take action with a booked appointment.
Nonetheless, yesterday, Steven defined his considerations about those that must bear the verification course of over the telephone, ought to they not have the ability to get the web verification.
He defined: “I simply wished to focus on the plight that perhaps a whole bunch of hundreds of persons are going via in the mean time, in that, should you’re making use of for Common Credit score, and you’ll’t get the web verification – which is what occurred to us – we phoned up on Friday approach earlier than three o’clock.
“We waited all over, the identical message taking part in time and again and over. And, at 5 o’clock we simply bought minimize off. You simply can not get via. You can’t presumably get via on that phone line.
“I’m wondering what Martin’s ideas about that had been, and if there are any any alternate options for people who find themselves desparate?”
Upon listening to Steven’s question, Mr Lewis defined that he understood that the DWP was at the moment coping with an unprecedented demand, and thus was not trying to “contain criticism”.
He replied: “So, my reply is, what I am listening to is clearly they’re coping with huge unprecedented demand. So, I am being very cautious in the whole lot I say right here to not contain criticism, as a result of I simply do not suppose anybody deserves criticism proper now.
“I understand how exhausting the individuals in these name centres are working, and the individuals making an attempt to type it via. However the system clearly is not working. They’re presupposed to name you again,” he added, earlier than asking for step-by-step element about Steven’s expertise.
Steven defined: “Nicely there’s an internet verifiaction system which is meant to kick in but when that does not work then it’s important to telephone up and it’s important to make a telephone appointment.
“However, you simply can not get via – you may be on the telephone for hours and hours and also you simply can not communicate to a human being.
“You simply get put right into a voice loop that goes again and again. It does not even let you know the place you might be within the queue.
“So, finally, as I say on Friday at 5 o’clock, it simply says the workplaces are shut and also you get minimize off. It is simply unimaginable to get via Martin.”
Mr Lewis then defined he’d look into the matter, and would tweet any info he may glean about what individuals ought to do in that circumstance.
Later, he did simply that, and defined that DWP figures present that net functions have reached as excessive as 105,678 per day.
He additionally revealed that the DWP was checking “who’s lacking”, and would consequently contact the claimant.
Later, Mr Lewis wrote on Twitter: “Common credit score replace: I’ve simply bought figures; net apps up 832 p.c final week – as excessive as 105,678/day (sometimes 9,751). They’re swamped.
“If ur advised to ring for an appointment however cannot get through. Attempt & be affected person (I do know its exhausting) theyre checking who’s lacking and WILL CALL U.”(sic)
Specific.co.uk has contacted the DWP asking for extra info.