Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the benefit cap is applied to claimants of universal credit who have had their working hours reduced as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

The Benefit Cap restores fairness between those receiving out-of-work benefits and taxpayers.

On Universal Credit claimants in work have the certainty that each month payments adjust reflecting earnings and household circumstances.

Claimants may also 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.

Claimants can also approach their Local Authority for a Discretionary Housing Payment if they need additional help to meet rental costs.

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