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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 126046, tabled on 7 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants in each region and nation of the UK have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in December 2020.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

17 December 2020

The Department can identify the number of households who have a grace period and when it is due to end. However, those volumes do not equate to the number of people who will be in scope of the cap when their grace period ends. This is because the grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap.

The Department is not able to provide information on the number of households who will newly be subject to the benefit cap at the end of their grace period because any estimate does not account for changes to personal circumstances which would see some claimants continue to be exempt.

i. The table below shows, for the latest available data as at August 2020, the number of Universal Credit households with a grace period due to end in each calendar month of January 2021 to March 2021.

Calendar Month

Number of grace periods ending in Universal Credit

January 2021


February 2021


March 2021


ii. A regional breakdown of the number of Universal Credit households in Great Britain with a grace period due to end in December 2020 is provided in the table below for the latest available data, as at August 2020.


Number of grace periods in Universal Credit ending in December 2020



of which:

North East


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


East Midlands


West Midlands


East of England




South East


South West






Not Known


iii. As at August 2020, there are 51,800 couples with dependent children and 18,800 single parents, who have a Universal Credit grace period due to end in December 2020.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.