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Universal Credit: Deductions

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 156460, tabled on 22 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the (a) total and (b) average size was of deductions from universal credit claimants; and how many claimants had deductions taken, in the most recent month for which data is available.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

1 March 2021

Deductions are currently capped at 30% of the claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. This is due to reduce further to 25% of the claimant’s standard allowance in October this year

For Universal Credit claims with a payment due during November 2020, 2,128,000 (44% of all claims) had a deduction. The total amount deducted was £166,330,000 (around 5% of the total amount of UC paid during November 2020), with an average of £78 deducted per claim.


1. Deductions include advance repayments, third party deductions and other deductions but exclude sanctions and fraud penalties which are reductions of benefit rather than deductions.

2. Number of claims rounded to the nearest 1,000, total deducted rounded to the nearest £10,000.

3. Amount of Universal Credit paid reflects the amount of money paid to claimants and their landlords as part of their award, including the amount which they would have been entitled to had it not been deducted. It does not include other payments such as advances and hardship payments.

4. Figures are affected by the impact of the temporary suspension of some deduction types due to Covid-19. During April 2020, government deductions were temporarily suspended and only began to be reinstated from July. As of November, these had not been fully returned.

5. Figures are provisional and are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

6. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

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