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Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 31st 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 change the calculation of universal credit payments to take account of when earnings are scheduled to be paid to claimants rather than when they are received by claimants.

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

Employers should already record on HMRC’s Real Time Information (RTI) system the date a salary is scheduled to be paid, rather than the date it is paid, where it is earlier due to a weekend, bank holiday or at Christmas.

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 effects Universal Credit with their case managers and work coaches, who can also signpost to services appropriate to individual circumstances.

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