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Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 31st July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the number of Universal Credit claimants experiencing financial difficulties from four in 10, as reported in their Universal Credit Full Source Survey, published in June.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We have introduced a number of measures to support and reduce the number of claimants facing financial difficulties.

We are investing up to £200 million into budgeting and digital support, to help claimants with the transition to Universal Credit and our work coaches work closely with claimants, ensuring they can identify any vulnerabilities or specific needs, such as financial difficulties, at an early stage. We have also invested £1.5 billion in a package of measures to support claimants financially in the first assessment period.

From 3 January, claimants have been getting advances of up to 100 per cent of their indicative monthly entitlement within a few days. From 14 February, waiting days were removed, and from 11 April, claimants transitioning to Universal Credit from Housing Benefit have been getting an additional 2 weeks of housing cost payments.

In June, we announced additional protection for people who receive Severe Disability Premium – they will stay on legacy benefits until Transitional Protection applies and we will introduce protection for those who have already moved on to Universal Credit.

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