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Universal Credit

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 7537, tabled on 4 September 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect on claimants of issuing benefits on a monthly rather than weekly basis due to the introduction of universal credit.

Answered on

12 September 2017

The vast majority of legacy working age benefits are not paid weekly (JSA, ESA and IS, for example, are all paid fortnightly as standard), but DWP understands that the transition to monthly payments can be challenging for some claimants. The assessment period and payment structure is fundamental to the design of universal Credit and mirrors the world of work where the majority of employees are paid monthly, but there is an unprecedented level of support for people who need it.

For example, advances are available to help claimants before their first payment and budgeting support is available to help claimants manage their money on a monthly basis, pay bills on time and take responsibility for housing costs. For those who can’t manage, alternative payment arrangements are available which can include more frequent than monthly payments and our research shows that the majority of UC claimants are comfortable managing their budgets.