Department for Work and Pensions
New video service for deaf claimants accessing Universal Credit
Universal Credit claimants can now access British Sign Language interpreters as part of a free video relay service.
The service can be used to help make a new claim or for those already claiming Universal Credit.
This supports a package of measures put in place to provide quicker and easier access to benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak.
British Sign Language users can now easily access Universal Credit through a video relay service provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. The move will support many of the 87,000 Deaf BSL users currently living in the UK.
The Video Relay Service (VRS), allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call in English to a member of DWP staff.
Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson yesterday said:
With more than 1.4 million people accessing Universal Credit in these unprecedented times, this technology will provide vital and equal accessibility for Deaf people and those with hearing loss.
It is fantastic to see concern for increasing accessibility going right to the top and I am delighted that we are championing this cause for people accessing the welfare safety net.
The service, which is already available for people accessing other disability benefits and the Access to Work scheme, will be available through GOV.UK.
DWP staff won’t see the caller or the interpreter; but will receive a phone call from the interpreter who will translate into BSL. There is no need to book the service in advance which allows the conversation to take place in real time.
Customers will be able to access a VRS hyperlink on GOV.UK. Alternatively, SignVideo offer an app that can connect to Universal Credit. Colleagues won’t see the caller or the interpreter; they simply receive a voice telephone call and allow additional time for translation into BSL.
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5144
London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144
Out-of-hours (journalists only) 07623 928 975
England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099
Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122
Follow DWP on:
Latest News from
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions appoints two new Non-Executive Board Members02/07/2020 12:10:00
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has appointed Rachel Wolf and Eleanor Shawcross as Non-Executive Board Members.
DWP service update01/07/2020 16:51:00
On 29 June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority lifted a number of restrictions placed on Wirecard Card Solutions LTD.
DWP service update29/06/2020 14:43:00
On 26 June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority placed a number of restrictions on Wirecard Card Solutions LTD.
Our civil servants have risen to the occasion of the pandemic23/06/2020 13:10:00
Our exceptional civil servants have stepped up to and met the challenges of this unprecedented time head on.
£63 million for local authorities to assist those struggling to afford food and other essentials12/06/2020 11:24:00
New funding confirmed for local authorities to help those struggling financially as a result of coronavirus.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch20/05/2020 11:12:00
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May.
Historic Immigration Bill returns to Parliament19/05/2020 11:10:00
The bill takes back control of UK borders and paves the way for a new points-based immigration system.
Pension Credit claimants now able to apply online07/05/2020 12:15:00
Pensioners are now able to apply for Pension Credit online in a move to assist those who are self-isolating or shielding during the coronavirus pandemic.