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Universal Credit: Prisoners' Release

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 28287, tabled on 24 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the target timescale is for people leaving prison from application to receipt for universal credit; and how many and what proportion of applications take longer than that timescale.

Answered on

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.