Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 18th October 2019.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to permit Universal Credit claimants to backdate a claim due to ill health in circumstances where medical evidence is provided by a GP.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit claims may be backdated, by up to one calendar month, in some circumstances for vulnerable claimants who may be delayed in claiming Universal Credit through no fault of their own. More specifically, in cases where medical evidence satisfies the Department that a claimant had an illness that prevented them from making a claim sooner, Universal Credit can be awarded from an earlier date.

In order to provide the best possible support to our claimants it is important that the Department are able to engage with claimants at the earliest possible opportunity, whether to support them back into work or to provide other support and guidance. It is therefore important that backdating provisions are used in specific circumstances, and that all claimants are encouraged to contact us at the earliest opportunity.

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