Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 February 2019 to Question 220054 on Universal Credit, if she will make an assessment of the effect of the five week waiting time for universal credit on levels of indebtedness among claimants.

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

The Department offers a range of support to support claimants until their first Universal Credit payment.

Over the last year we have introduced an additional 2 weeks of Housing Benefit to eligible claimants to support them when they move to Universal Credit.

We have increased the amount and repayment period for Universal Credit new claim and benefit transfer advances. From October this year 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. From October 2021 the recovery period will increase from 12 to 16 months.

At the Autumn Budget 2018, we also announced the introduction of a two-week continuation of Income Support and the income related elements of Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance from July 2020.

There is no assessment planned of this nature.

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