Social Security Benefits

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information is given to claimants on deductions from their benefits (a) when completing an online calculation to move to Universal Credit and (b) before moving to Universal Credit; and whether a person who receives a lower award after moving to Universal Credit is able to move back to legacy benefits in the event that deductions were not used in the calculation of their move to Universal Credit.

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

We do not give prospective Universal Credit (UC) claimants personalised information on potential deductions from their benefits before moving to UC. This is because the Department only holds limited information about any potential debts a new claimant before a claim is made.

When considering a voluntary move to Universal Credit (as outlined in our recent publication), claimants should check how outstanding debts they may have are recovered through universal credit. They can do this by using an independent benefits calculator and by seeking independent advice, such as through the Help to Claim Service.

Once claimants make a claim, they are not entitled to move back to legacy benefits. This reflects the overarching principle that Universal Credit will replace legacy benefits by the end of 2024.

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