Universal Credit: Is Universal Credit increasing?
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The number of people receiving social security payment Universal Credit in the UK is increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic battering the nation. In September 2019, a total of 2.5m people were receiving the benefit with 65 percent of those recipients out of work. In April, this had increased to 4.2 million people.
Is Universal Credit increasing?
Universal Credit is paid monthly, and the standard allowance depends on your circumstances.
For example, if you’re single and under the age of 25, you’ll get £342.72 per month, while if you’re age above 25 and not in a couple, the monthly payment is £409,89.
If you’re in a couple where both are under the age of 25, the total amount you both will receive is £488.59.
For couples aged 25 or over, you will both receive £594.04 in total per month.
You may get more money on top of your standard allowance if you’re eligible.
Circumstances making you eligible for higher amounts from Universal Credit can be if you have children, have a disability or health condition preventing you from working, or need help paying rent.
Your circumstances are assesses every month and can affect how much you’re paid.
You’ll get an extra amount for any disabled or severely disabled child – no matter how many children you have or when they were born.
On April 6, 2020, all working age benefits payments rose by 1.7 percent.
This marked the first time the payments have increased since 2015.
The Government is increasing Universal Credit payments by £1,000, amounting to around £80 extra per month for 12 months.
But some will also be able to receive a boost of up to £405 a month from October 8.
Claimants will see their payments increased by £120, £285 or £405 next month, if they are eligible.
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The rise is designed to bridge the gap between the old benefits and Universal Credit.
The payment drop affected those who switched to Universal Credit from Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit or Pension Credit, if they were also receiving a top-up allowance called Severe Disability Premium (SDP).
Ken Butler, Welfare Rights and policy adviser at Disability Rights UK, said: “Over 13,000 disabled people who previously received SDP have lost this on moving to Universal Credit.
“While the introduction of these compensation payments is really good news, its important to remember that the Government has had to be forced to provide them only because of a significant legal judgement.
“The High Court ruled in May 2019 that the Government’s UC migration arrangements for those who previously received the SDP and moved onto Universal Credit before January 16 2019 were unlawful.
“And the compensation payments will not help those who meet the SDP eligibility criteria only after their move to Universal Credit.
“The Government should introduction a disability element to UC itself to replace the disability premiums that have been cut from the UC system.”
You can check what you’re entitled to on the Government’s website on Universal Credit.
Who is eligible for Universal Credit?
To be eligible to claim Universal Credit, you need to meet one of the following criteria:
- you’re on a low income or unemployed
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
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