Coronavirus | CPAG

Coronavirus

Digital exclusion during the pandemic

13 January 2021
To solve the immediate issues surrounding digital exclusion, CPAG and Children North East urge the government to rapidly speed up the distribution timetable of the 440,000 purchased devices that are currently available to schools and ensure that every child across England has access to a device for learning and other essential items.

Open letter to Gavin Williamson on home learning

11 January 2021
Today we and Children North East have sent an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson MP, which lays out a set of guiding principles that we advise the government to use to make decisions about home education during this lockdown period.

Using COVID-19 funding to tackle child poverty: Guidance for local councils in England

11 January 2021
This guidance aims to support local authorities to consider how any additional funding received to support households struggling during the crisis can best help tackle child poverty, and to spark ideas or stimulate interest in developing new approaches in your local authority area. This may include how to spend unallocated money from the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, but also how support to families is being provided, or could be provided by your local council, outside the remit of this grant. 

One million Covid-19 universal credit claimants have deductions from benefits

07 January 2021
More than one million households forced to claim universal credit (UC) when coronavirus struck are entering the New Year having debt deductions taken from their UC, and almost all include repayments of an advance taken out to get them through the five-week wait for a first UC payment, new analysis for the Covid Realities research project shows.

“My rent alone takes up 95% of the benefits I receive, but my family are stuck here... until we’re made homeless.” Challenging poverty in a time of COVID

22 December 2020
I am a widow and solo parent, who lost my husband, leaving two young children. I have been affected by multiple changes to the benefits system. I’m both affected by the benefit cap (which limits how much I can receive, irrespective of my family’s needs) and penalised for having an extra bedroom. My rent alone takes up 95% of the benefits I receive, but my family are stuck here in high rent accommodation until we’re made homeless. Because of the benefit cap, I’m not eligible for the £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit – a one-year increase intended to help people at their time of greatest need, during the pandemic.

Capped in the New Year

22 December 2020
An estimated 35,000 households on universal credit (UC) - mostly families (77%) - will have their benefits capped in the New Year because they lost jobs or earnings to Covid-19 in March and their grace period has now expired, new analysis from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) finds.

Capped in the New Year

22 December 2020
The benefit cap grace period gives claimants nine months’ exemption from the cap, starting from when their earnings first fall below the threshold, if in the previous 12 months they have earned over £604 in every month. COVID-19 has meant that hundreds of thousands of households’ earnings have fallen below the threshold. Some did not have a strong work history and were capped immediately, and some were able to find enough earnings to move above the cap. However, many households are stuck in limbo, where they are not yet capped due to the grace period, but are unable to find work as jobs are so scarce.

Falling Through the Net - briefing 1

18 December 2020
This is the first in a series of bi-monthly briefings, Falling Through the Net, which highlight some of the persistent gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.

New survey shows deteriorating living standards for low-income families as a result of Covid-19

14 December 2020
Low-income families with children are even worse off now than they were in the summer, the latest Poverty in the Pandemic report from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Church of England shows. Nearly 9 in 10 families report a significant deterioration in their living standards because of the pandemic – up from 8 in 10 families who responded to an earlier survey between May and July 2020.

Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

14 December 2020
In August, Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England published a report, Poverty in the Pandemic, which offered a glimpse into the lives of low-income families trying to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This report provides an update on how families with children are managing financially, based on an additional 393 online survey responses received in the period since the last report was published, up to the end of November 2020.