Cost of Living Payments: Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th September 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of Universal Credit claimants who did not qualify for the first cost of living additional payment because of the way their wages were paid during the qualifying month.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We do not currently hold this information. We have deliberately kept the rules for these payments as simple as possible. This is the only way we can ensure that we can develop the systems and processes required to make these payments.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to distinguish between those that have had a permanent increase to their earnings, and those whose earnings are temporarily fluctuating. If a UC claimant’s income subsequently falls, these claimants will return to having a positive award after the cut-off date and may be eligible for the second Cost of Living Payment, worth £324.

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