Universal Credit claimants need to know these four big DWP changes

Housing: PM announces changes to Universal Credit rules

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently introducing big changes to state benefits which could affect people’s payments and even lead to their benefits being stopped. Four main changes are set to come into effect before the end of 2022 – here’s everything Universal Credit claimants need to know.

Universal Credit is paid to almost six (5.9) million Britons either because they are on a low income or looking for work.

Currently, anyone who receives Universal Credit who is working a minimum of nine hours per week does not have to attend meetings or prove they are looking for work.

However, under pending new DWP rules, Universal Credit claimants will have to work 12 hours or go to meetings with their work coach to keep getting paid.

The change was brought in by former Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey and means Britons will have to work more hours or risk their payments coming to an end.

Who can claim Universal Credit?

  • People who are out of work
  • working (including self-employed or part time) but on a low income
  • unable to work, for example because of a health condition.

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How much someone recevies depends on their circumstances and if they have dependent children living at home. 

The second change is that Universal Credit claimants will receive the second instalment of the cost of living support payment worth £324 in autumn. 

This support was introduced by former chancellor Rishi Sunak to help people pay for soaring energy bills and rising food costs.

People on Universal Credit will have received their first instalment of £326 in July.

The DWP is also moving all legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit – a process estimated to take until 2026 to complete.

The six legacy benefits are: Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit.

However, not everyone will be better off following the migration.

DWP minister David Rutley said: “The vast and on majority an average 55 percent of claimants will be £220 better off on Universal Credit.”

In addition, the Administration Earnings Threshold will change on September 26 which determines how much people have to earn before they are made to look for more work.

The rate is currently £355 a month for single claimants or £567 a month for joint claimants.

However, this will rise to £494 a month or £782 for joint claimants.

Those who earn below this threshold will be moved onto “intensive work search”.

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