The Covid-19 crisis has led to an increase in local Age UKs looking to use online application processes rather than paper or pdf welfare benefit application forms. The DWP has been slow to develop online application processes, especially for older peoples’ benefits (the Pension Credit process is still a test version and was introduced as a response to the Covid-19 crisis), and there is no consistency across the processes developed by each separate department within the DWP.
To support local Age UK advisers with using these processes, especially when doing so remotely from their clients (ie over the phone or a video call, rather than face-to-face), Age UK has produced some guidance, which can be found below:
You can also find the guidance on The Loop and the ‘COVID-19 I&A Hub’.
There are number of risks involved with using online application processes, as opposed to supporting a client to complete an application form, and particularly when doing so remotely. The guidance has been developed in conjunction with the provider of our group professional indemnity cover and they expect all local Age UKs to adhere to this guidance.