Universal Credit

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

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the decision was taken to stop the support provided to claimants of existing benefits and tax credits for between three and five weeks when they are migrated to universal credit.

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

New claimants to Universal Credit have always been able to apply for a Universal Credit Advance in their first month if they need some financial support until the first regular payment of Universal Credit is made.

We have previously increased the maximum amount available for advances from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the total award, and increased the repayment period from 6 months to 12 months. Last month’s Budget extended - from October 2021 - the maximum period over which an advance can be recovered, from 12 to 16 months. From October 2019, we will also reduce the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a Universal Credit award from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance

Additionally in the Budget, it was announced that income related legacy benefits, Income Support, income related Employment and Support Allowance and income based Jobseeker’s Allowance will continue for two weeks after a claim for Universal Credit has been made, from July 2020. This will apply to all managed migration cases and natural migration cases where a claim to Universal Credit ends entitlement to the legacy benefit. This measure means that around 1.1 million people will see a one-off gain of approximately £200, between 2020/21 and 2023/24.

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