Universal Credit

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

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on universal credit support for parents with a third child.

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

The policy to provide additional Universal Credit support for a maximum of two children encourages families who receive benefits to make the same financial decisions as those families who support themselves solely through work. We recognise that some claimants are not able to make the same choices about the number of children in their family and exceptions have been put in place to protect certain groups.

When moving to Universal Credit under the managed migration process, families’ existing entitlement will be protected, so long as they remain responsible for the same children and entitled to benefit. Child Benefit continues to be paid for all children, and, within Universal Credit the additional element for any disabled children is paid regardless of the total number of children in the household.

Additional help for eligible childcare costs are also available for all children. Universal Credit is more generous in terms of childcare costs with an increased level of support for childcare costs: from 70 per cent in legacy benefits, to 85 per cent within Universal Credit. This means that working families claiming Universal Credit can reclaim up to 85 per cent of their eligible childcare costs each month, up to a maximum of £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two or more children. Universal Credit childcare costs can be claimed for one month prior to starting work, to enable a child to settle into a new routine. In addition, the Flexible Support Fund is also available to help parents pay childcare deposits or up-front fees.

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