All posts tagged: Universal Credit

DWP review warning issued to people on State Pension, PIP and Universal Credit

DWP review warning issued to people on State Pension, PIP and Universal Credit

[ad_1] The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued an ominous review warning to people claiming a variety of payments from the Government. More than 20 million people across Great Britain are claiming State Pension or at least one benefit from the DWP to help with the additional costs of day-to-day living. But the UK Government has been clear it will crackdown on those exploiting the benefits system as they are ‘stealing from those who most need help’. The latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures indicate that fraud and error in the benefit system is falling after the UK Government restated its determination to drive levels down further and protect taxpayers’ money. The most-recent national statistics show that in the 2022/23 financial year, fraud and error rates fell to 3.6 per cent (£8.3 billion) from 4.0 per cent (£8.7 billion) – figures for 2023/24 are due to be published next month. During the 2024/25 financial year – which starts this weekend on April 6 – the DWP will measure a sample of …

Farmers claiming benefits told their farms are ‘hobbies’ and to get jobs

Farmers claiming benefits told their farms are ‘hobbies’ and to get jobs

[ad_1] Farmers say their income varies wildly over the year so the new system does not work for them – SolStock Farmers claiming benefits are being told their businesses are “hobbies” and that they should seek paid employment. The older benefit system calculated on a yearly average is being replaced by Universal Credit, under which households are assessed on their monthly income. But farmers say their income varies wildly over a year because of agricultural seasons, meaning the system does not work for them. When monthly income works out as effectively lower than the minimum wage, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can require claimants to look for alternative paid employment. ‘Absolutely broken’ Jess Evison and her husband, Harry, who keep sheep on a small farm in north Yorkshire, told the Telegraph that they would stop claiming around £900 a month of benefits because they were effectively locked out by the new system. This money includes support for one of their three daughters, who has special needs. “We went to our first meeting and …

Universal Credit helpline wait times are 15 times faster than HMRC | Politics | News

Universal Credit helpline wait times are 15 times faster than HMRC | Politics | News

[ad_1] New figures show that calls about Universal Credit are answered 15 times quicker than tax queries. The Government’s benefit helpline responds much faster than HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Last year, former Employment Minister Guy Opperman said that in March 2023, the average wait time for a call to the Universal Credit helpline was only 1 minute and 28 seconds. In April, it was 3 minutes and 39 seconds. This is almost 15 times quicker than taxpayers who called HMRC. They had to wait about 21 minutes on average in March, reports The Telegraph. Former State Minister Tom Pursglove showed that the Universal Credit helpline got over a million calls each month last spring. There were 1,345,024 calls in March 2023 and 1,213,815 in April 2023. This is about half the number of calls the tax office got. They received 2,930,718 calls in March and 2,498,964 in April. But even though they called more frequently, taxpayers had to wait a lot longer. Recently, HMRC has been told off because its latest numbers showed that …

More than half of Universal Credit claimants ‘ran out of food’ | Politics | News

More than half of Universal Credit claimants ‘ran out of food’ | Politics | News

[ad_1] More than half of those on Universal Credit “ran out of food” during the last month. A survey from an anti-poverty charity found more than 52% of people claiming benefits are behind on bills and credit commitments or are finding it a constant struggle to keep up with them, a survey for the Trussell Trust found. Over two-fifths – around 42% – said they are behind with one or more household bills. The YouGov research among Universal Credit recipients, carried out from January 18 to February 5, found that one in eight (12%) had used a food bank in the previous month while 55% had run out of food in the past month and could not afford more. More than a fifth (22%) of Universal Credit recipients had been unable to cook hot food in the past three months as they could not afford to use their oven or other utilities. Just over a quarter (26%) have missed an essential appointment, such as visiting the doctor or travelling to work, because they could not …

Ed Sheeran and Stephen Fry sign open letter to address growing poverty in the UK | UK | News

Ed Sheeran and Stephen Fry sign open letter to address growing poverty in the UK | UK | News

[ad_1] Ed Sheeran, Jodie Whitaker, and Liam Gallagher are among dozens of celebrities who have signed an open letter, demanding politicians address the increasing number of people facing poverty in the UK. Co-written by anti-poverty charities, the Trussell Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the letter calls for political leaders to make sure the basic rate of Universal Credit at least covers the cost of life’s essentials. There’s currently a £35 weekly gap between the basic rate of Universal Credit, and the cost of common essentials – with around five in six low-income households who receive the benefit, many of whom are in work, going without at least one key requirement, such as food, a warm home, or toiletries. This is forcing hundreds of thousands of people to turn to food banks – with a Trussell Trust food parcel now being distributed every eight seconds. Also signed by Stephen Fry, Dame Emma Thompson, and Liam Payne, the letter has been issued to leaders of all political parties, ahead of this year’s General Election, to call for …

Benefit migration, cost of living payments, and more

Benefit migration, cost of living payments, and more

[ad_1] As we begin a new year, many people will see changes in their financial situation. There will be several changes to Universal Credit, a benefit claimed by around six million people in the UK. There will also be increases in pension payments and various other benefits. Furthermore, some people will be asked to migrate to Universal Credit this year, as the Government moves away from other types of benefit payments. Find out below what changes are coming up and how they could affect you. What is Universal Credit and who can claim it? Universal Credit is a monthly payment for people who are on a low income, unemployed or need help with living costs. How much you receive depends on various factors including your age, living situation, employment status, and whether or not you have children. You can check if you’re eligible and make a claim on the Government’s website. Benefits migrating to Universal Credit Several benefit payments will be migrating to Universal Credit, such as Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based …