Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th November 2018.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances the repayment of an advance can be deducted from a claimant's universal credit in addition to the maximum proportion that can be deducted for other debts.

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

There are no circumstances in which the repayment of an advance can be taken in excess of 40% of a claimant’s Universal Credit standard allowance.*

From October 2019, we will reduce the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a Universal Credit award from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance. This will ensure that those on Universal Credit are supported to repay debts in a more sustainable and manageable way. From October 2021, we will also increase the period over which advances will be recovered, from 12 to 16 months.

* The addition of a subsequent deduction such as for rent, gas or electricity arrears may take the overall level of deductions to over 40% in a small number of cases. In these circumstances the advance repayments do not themselves take the claimant over the threshold, rather the additional deductions are made to protect claimant welfare by preventing disconnection or eviction.

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