Social Security Benefits

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2018 to Question 182114 on Universal Credit, what definition of genuine hardship is used by her Department to determine whether exceptional circumstances apply to a claim for an advance payment of (a) legacy benefits, (b) personal independence payment and (c) universal credit.

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

Advances are available to those receiving Universal Credit, DWP legacy income related benefits (such as Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance), and Pension Credit.

However, advances are not available for those receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (which are non means tested and for people with personal care and/or mobility needs because of a mental or physical disability).

There is no prescriptive definition of hardship used in determining an advance award in Universal Credit, or a Short Term Benefit Advance for DWP legacy income related benefits: we tailor the support that we provide and consider each case on its own merits given the financial and other circumstances of the claimant and their immediate family.

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