Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March 2021.

Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants in each region and nation of the UK have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in December 2020.

Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants that have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in December 2020 are (a) families with children and (b) single-parent households.

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

The Department can identify the number of households who have a grace period and when it is due to end. However, those volumes do not equate to the number of people who will be in scope of the cap when their grace period ends. This is because the grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap.

The Department is not able to provide information on the number of households who will newly be subject to the benefit cap at the end of their grace period because any estimate does not account for changes to personal circumstances which would see some claimants continue to be exempt.

i. The table below shows, for the latest available data as at August 2020, the number of Universal Credit households with a grace period due to end in each calendar month of January 2021 to March 2021.

Calendar Month

Number of grace periods ending in Universal Credit

January 2021

128,100

February 2021

29,800

March 2021

25,900

ii. A regional breakdown of the number of Universal Credit households in Great Britain with a grace period due to end in December 2020 is provided in the table below for the latest available data, as at August 2020.

Region

Number of grace periods in Universal Credit ending in December 2020

England

139,400

of which:

North East

6,200

North West

18,200

Yorkshire and the Humber

12,200

East Midlands

10,800

West Midlands

13,700

East of England

15,600

London

27,300

South East

21,800

South West

13,600

Scotland

13,200

Wales

7,000

Not Known

700

iii. As at August 2020, there are 51,800 couples with dependent children and 18,800 single parents, who have a Universal Credit grace period due to end in December 2020.

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