Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5th October 2020.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Westminster North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made on improving the universal credit service to customers without bank accounts, as outlined as a priority in the Universal Credit Programme Board paper 5 (UCPB180517).

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

Since May 2017 Universal Credit has improved the support it offers to claimants without bank accounts including, where appropriate, providing support to complete the process of setting up a bank account.

Many high street banks provide support for claimants who can manage a basic bank account, to set one up and will advise them. Advice is also available from various advisory services, including the Money and Pension Service.

Work Coaches will assess claimants’ financial needs at their first interview and can refer them to more specialist support for personal budgeting, money guidance and debt advice as appropriate, including through the Money and Pensions Service.

Measures are in place to make payments through other methods where someone does not have a bank account. Universal Credit can, in certain circumstances, can be paid via the HMG Payment Exception Service, which allows claimants to access payments through Paypoint outlets.

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