Over the next 3 years, it will affect about 600,000 people in the Diocese of London-

That includes people in your parish who are bringing up children on low income, who are out of work, who are on low wages or zero hour contracts, who are receiving housing benefit, who are unable to work due to illness or disability?

Latest Universal Credit News

There were some significant changes over the last 2 weeks for UC- so a small but hearty hooray for them. But there are still issues, however, the recent changes are:

  • Rollout: the “managed migration” bit (ie people who are currently getting one or more of the 6 “legacy benefits”) has been put back by 6 months. So it will now start in January 2020, not July 2019 as we talked about in training. That means it isn’t scheduled to finish til July 2024. Still no clear guidance as to how “managed migration” will happen- ie who will be migrated, when.

  • If you are on housing benefit, you will now get a 2 week “run on” of your housing benefit when you first make a claim. This will be paid directly to your housing provider, as normal. It will not affect how much UC you get. So may help with some of the rent arrears issues.

  • The maximum that DWP can take from your Universal Credit each month, to pay back any loan you have had, is now 30%- down from 40%. The campaign asked for this to be 10%…so it’s a start but not enough

  • The “work allowance” (how much you can bring in in salary before your UC payment starts to reduce) has been increased by £1000. This should help more people be better off in work. This is, in part, reversing the cuts that were made in 2015. This starts next October 2019.

  • People migrating onto UC from the “big” benefits (income support, JSA and ESA) will get a £200 cash bonus to help them tide over the 5 week wait. But this won’t be implemented until July 2020.

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Do we need to fix Universal Credit?

It is simply not right that so many people are unable to access good food and go to bed hungry. As a compassionate and just society, we need to make sure that people are protected when times get tough.

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