Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th April 2020.

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Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of removing the five-week wait for claimants to receive their first universal credit payment during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 25 March 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to people who have requested them.

The Universal Credit assessment period and payment structure are fundamental parts of the design and the current advance system works, and works quickly.

It is not possible to award a Universal Credit payment as soon as a claim is made, as the assessment period must run its course before the award of Universal Credit can be calculated. In order to allow the Universal Credit system to cope with the unprecedented demand, we must limit the changes made to its framework.

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

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to people who have requested them.

The Universal Credit assessment period and payment structure are fundamental parts of the design and the current advance system works, and works quickly.

It is not possible to award a Universal Credit payment as soon as a claim is made, as the assessment period must run its course before the award of Universal Credit can be calculated. In order to allow the Universal Credit system to cope with the unprecedented demand, we must limit the changes made to its framework.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.