To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is possible for prisoners to start their universal credit application so that it is processed and ready to be applied when they are released.
3 March 2016
Prisoners are supported and advised whilst in prison on which benefits they can claim and how to make a claim and we are developing arrangements to enable them to make advance claims to Universal Credit.
Appropriate support measures for prison leavers with mental health issues will be considered following the initial claim interview.
Universal Credit is assessed and paid calendar monthly in arrears. Prison leavers will receive payment within the timescale of 5 weeks from the date of claim.
Prison leavers who are in financial need can apply for an advance payment of up to 50% of their total Universal Credit award following their initial interview.
The information requested in relation to the timescales for applications is not readily available for publication. To quality assure this information according to the standards of the UK Statistics Authority would incur disproportionate costs.