Universal Credit: Deductions

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 3 March 2022.

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Photo of Wendy Chamberlain Wendy Chamberlain Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims in each parliamentary constituency had sums deducted from their claim in the most recent month for which data is available; what the (a) average and (b) total sums deducted in each constituency were; and what proportion of deductions were to repay an advance payment or historic tax credit debt.

Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were having deductions taken from them in the most recent month for which data are available, in each parliamentary constituency; what was the average size of sums deducted in each constituency; what the total sum was deducted from claims in each constituency; and what proportion of each sum was deducted to repay advance payments.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances.

Since April 2021, we have reduced the normal maximum rate of deductions in Universal Credit from 40% to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance. These positive measures were put in place to support claimants to manage financial difficulties

Advances are a claimant’s benefit entitlement paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. They ensure nobody has to wait for a payment in Universal Credit and those who need it are able to receive financial support as soon as possible. Claimants can receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit award if required, resulting in 25 payments over a 24-month period. This is not a debt.

The requested analysis of Universal Credit claims with a payment due in November 2021 by Parliamentary Constituency in Great Britain (GB) is provided in the separate spreadsheet.

UC Claims Table (xlsx, 104.0KB)

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