Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th April 2019.

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Photo of Ruth George Ruth George Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, reference to the Written Statement of 12 March on Universal Credit, HCWS1399, whether her Department plans to pay discretionary payments to cover the two-week run on for all claimants migrating to universal credit during the course of the pilot.

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

Subject to the Parliamentary approval, of the draft Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) regulations 2019, the Department will introduce a Discretionary Hardship Payment to support those claimants who will be a part of the pilot phase and who appear to be in hardship. The power for Discretionary Hardship Payments is broad and could be used to pay the equivalent of the two-week legacy run on to claimants who will be moved to Universal Credit as part of the piloting phase and who are in hardship on account of the absence of the run on. We will also have the discretion to make payments if any other issues related to managed migration have resulted in hardship.

Introducing the Discretionary Hardship Payment during the piloting phase will allow the Department to evaluate this support and assess what impact the current policy may have on claimants before introducing the run-ons from July 2020. This evaluation will allow us to consider whether further support is needed as a result of other issues that may arise and we have committed to reporting on our findings from the pilot before bringing forward legislation to proceed with volume managed migration.”

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