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Universal Credit

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

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of claims for advance payments since the inception of universal credit.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of advance payments for universal credit since its inception.

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

Universal Credit (UC) new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, for which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. From October 2021, this maximum repayment period will be extended further to 16 months.

Around 60 per cent of new claims take up an advance. Subject to some fluctuation, this rate of advance take-up has been broadly consistent over the last 12 months.

Between 1 May 2013 and 30 April 2019, a total of 2.9 million UC advance payments have been made.

Advances are payments of Universal Credit made early, which are subject to recovery over an agreed period.

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