Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Winchester Baroness Thomas of Winchester Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what process they plan to use to identify vulnerable claimants who will require additional support to transition to Universal Credit.

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

We are committed to delivering managed migration in a way which supports claimants. In 2019, we will have a preparation period before testing and refining our approach with no more than 10,000 claimants from July 2019, to ensure it supports claimants onto Universal Credit, before we take on larger volumes in 2020.

As part of this, we are engaging with claimants, charities, experts and other stakeholders, on the design, making sure that it works for everyone and building in safeguards to ensure that vulnerable claimants are fully supported. To complete managed migration successfully, we will continue to engage with key stakeholders, experts and claimants throughout the process.

As announced at the Autumn Budget 2018 we will put an extra £1.7bn a year into work allowances, increasing them by £1,000 a year, resulting in 2.4m families keeping substantially more of their earnings before the earnings taper applies. Furthermore, it was announced that payment of Income Support and the income related elements of Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance will continue for two weeks after a claim for Universal Credit has been made, effective from July 2020, benefitting 1.1 million households. Claimants will therefore receive one two week run-on payment when being migrated to Universal Credit. This builds upon the similar two week run-on of Housing Benefit that was announced at Autumn Budget 2017, and which was introduced in April this year.

We have also improved how our work coaches and case workers view the claimant’s Universal Credit account so they clearly know when a claimant is vulnerable and what support they may need.

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