Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the implications for her Department's policies on universal credit assessment period and earned income are of the High Court judgment of 11 January 2019 in R (on the application of Johnson and others) v Secretary of State For Work and Pensions.

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

The judgment affects a small number of people on Universal Credit, with specific characteristics. The Department is currently appealing this judgment, and as such will await the outcome of that process before taking any further action.

Universal Credit takes earnings into account in a way that is fair and transparent. The amount of Universal Credit paid reflects, as closely as possible, the actual circumstances of a household during each monthly assessment period, including any earnings reported by the employer during the assessment period, regardless of when they were paid, or which month they relate to.

Assessment periods allow for Universal Credit awards to be adjusted on a monthly basis, ensuring that if claimants’ incomes fall, they do not have to wait several months for a rise in their Universal Credit award.

Claimants can discuss queries about how fluctuating income affects Universal Credit with their case managers and work coaches, who can also signpost to services appropriate to individual circumstances.

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