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Universal Credit: Wales

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th May 2019.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of a potential link between the rollout of universal credit and use of foodbanks in (a) Wales and (b) Ogmore.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

There are many reasons people use foodbanks and agreement that growth in the use of foodbanks cannot be attributed solely to Universal Credit.

Under Universal Credit no claimant has to wait for their money: advances of up to 100 per cent of their award are available to all claimants from day one of their claim. Advances are paid back over a period of 12 months and in the Autumn Budget 2018, we announced that from October 2021, the payback period for these advances will be extended further, up to 16 months. This is just one of a number of measures the Department has put in place to support claimants, such as paying those claimants moving from Housing Benefit onto Universal Credit a two week ‘transitional housing payment’. We are also introducing a two-week run on for eligible claimants of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance from July 2020.

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