To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of whether households have reduced their expenditure on non-essential items in order to avoid debt while waiting for their first payment of universal credit.
In addition to this, the Department has delivered a number of improvements to support claimants during their first assessment period, such as removing waiting days and 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.
For those who need help with budgeting, support is available for Universal Credit claimants via the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). MaPS will help UC claimants with personal budgeting and money management through its free helpline, printed guides and digital guidance.