Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question HL4637 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of enabling claimants of universal credit to be granted a nine month grace period on the basis of average earnings over the previous 12 months before a benefit cap is applied.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Claimants may benefit from a nine-month grace period where their benefit will not be capped if they have a sustained work history with monthly earnings of at least £604 (£569 up to March 2020) in each of the previous 12 months. These earnings can include statutory sick pay, employer sick pay, earnings from self-employment as well as payments from the furlough scheme. It is not considered appropriate to undertake the averaging of earnings for the benefit cap grace period exemption to be applied, as that goes against the fundamental design of UC, which responds to fluctuating earnings monthly based on a claimants circumstances

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