Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th September 2018.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of the conclusion of the report, Rolling Out Universal Credit, published by the NAO in June 2018, that one in five claimants do not receive their full payment on time.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We consistently pay around 80% of new claims in full and on time. In many cases, where full payment is not made on time by the end of the first assessment period, this is as a result of unresolved issues: some claimants have not signed their Claimant Commitment or passed identity checks, and the others have outstanding verification issues, such as for housing and self-employed earnings.

Verification is a necessary part of any benefits system, and taxpayers expect these measures to be in place; we have to make sure we are paying the right people the right amount. As the NAO report acknowledges, we have taken steps to improve verification processes. For example we have listened to feedback and built processes into the system to make it easier and quicker for people to verify their housing costs.

Whilst their verification is on-going, many of these claimants receive a part payment for those elements of the claim that have been resolved. We published an ad hoc statistical release on 9 July which showed, for new claims due a payment in February 2018, 95% were paid in full within five weeks of the payment due date.

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