7. Domestic abuse
During the coronavirus outbreak
To protect staff and customers, jobcentres are temporarily closed to the public. However, jobcentre staff will still meet vulnerable customers, including those fleeing domestic abuse.
Our jobcentres are a safe space and DWP continues to support victims of domestic abuse. This includes helping you access temporary accommodation and putting you in touch with local experts and support networks.
We can also support you by helping you to open a new Universal Credit claim, and you can apply for an advance payment where needed, which can provide quicker access to money. From this moment your ex-partner will not have access to any information about your new claim.
We continue to work in close partnership with organisations and services within local communities to ensure that vulnerable customers are supported during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, police response and support services remain available.
Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.
Call 999 if you are in immediate danger.
If you need to seek help, advice or talk to someone about abuse in a relationship, you can contact the Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline (in England) on 0808 2000 247.
There’s more information about the help and support for victims of domestic abuse if you live in:
Support available if you are the victim of domestic abuse
A range of support services are available to you and your family via your work coach, if you are the victim of domestic abuse:
- Private rooms are available in most jobcentres so you can discuss sensitive issues with your work coach in private.
- If you have to temporarily stay in alternative accommodation but intend to return to your former home, you may be able to receive the housing element of Universal Credit for both your former permanent home and the temporary alternative accommodation.
- The jobcentre can temporarily remove the need for you to look for work so that you can focus on your immediate needs.
- If you’ve left an abusive relationship, your work coach can help you to open a new claim as a single claimant. From this moment your ex-partner will not have access to any information about your new claim. You can also get a rapid advance of up to 100% of your expected Universal Credit monthly entitlement. You will get a decision on the same day.
- Every jobcentre has links with a network of local and national charities and organisations, which your work coach can direct you to in order to ensure that you get the expert help you need.
- The jobcentre can liaise with local authority contacts and relevant organisations to support you to find somewhere to live as soon as possible if you have had to leave your home due to an abusive relationship.
Watch this video about the jobcentre support for victims of domestic abuse:
If you think you need help or need someone to talk to about abuse in a relationship, you can contact the Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247.