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Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL4516, tabled on 14 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 13 May (HL Deb, cols 677–8), what estimate they have made of the proportion of new Universal Credit claimants since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic who will be exempt from the benefit cap for the nine month grace period; whether they plan to raise the current level of the cap during the pandemic; and if not, why not.

Answered on

1 June 2020

Information relating to Universal Credit claimants who will be exempt from the benefit cap for the nine-month grace period is not readily available, to provide it would incur disproportionate costs. There are currently no plans to change the current benefit cap levels. The Government has quickly and effectively introduced over £6.5bn of measures that benefit those facing the most financial disruption during the current situation. DWP is experiencing significant increased demand as such the safety and stability of the benefits system must be prioritised.