Government announces changes to Universal Credit

LMH Newsletter

Government announces changes to Universal Credit


The Government’s Autumn Statement recently announced changes to the rollout and implementation of the new Digital Universal Credit (UC) Service. Changes included timings of the service rollout, the waiting period to receive payments and details regarding interest free advance payments.

Timings for rolling out the service have been put back nationwide, therefore changes in Liverpool and Knowsley will now take place later in 2018 than first expected.

Please note that recent newsletters and updates from LMH include the previous timetable from the Government, here is the most up to date timetable LMH has received:

The Department for Working Pensions (DWP) UC Digital Rollout Timetable

Date Area Job Centre Affected
October 2017 Sefton Bootle
Crosby
Southport
May 2018 Knowsley Huyton
Kirkby
September 2018 Liverpool Belle Vale
Garston
November 2018 Liverpool Toxteth
Williamson Square
December 2018 Liverpool Everton
West Derby


No new UC Claims under the "Live" Service

The Government has advised that to ensure a smooth transition to the digital service, from the end of December the “Live” gateway areas will be closed from 1st January 2018.

This means unless you live in the L20 area and need to make a claim for welfare benefit and assistance with housing costs, you will be advised to make a claim for a legacy benefit and housing benefit, until the Job Centre Plus becomes a digital area as shown above.

First Payment of UC - Removal of 7 waiting days

From February 2018 the seven-day waiting period will be cancelled which means you will not have to wait as long to receive your first full payment of UC. The Monthly Assessment Period will now commence from the date the claim is made.

Two week Housing Benefit run-on

From April 2018, if you’re a new claimant already receiving support towards your housing costs, there will be an additional payment of two weeks housing benefit.

Advance Payments of UC

From January 2018 there will be two changes to advance payments of UC.

  • The amount of support for an advance payment is being increased from up to 50% of the estimated entitlement of UC to a 100% this is interest free. From Spring 2018 you will be able to apply online for an advance payment.
  • If you receive an advance UC payment, the period to repay it back will increase from 6 to 12 months, regardless of the amount claimed.

More details about what you need to know about Universal Credit can be found here

If you have any concerns regarding your rent payments, please speak to your Rent Officer or a member of the Welfare Reform Team via 0800 678 1894. The earlier you engage with us, the sooner advice and support can be provided.


Posted in News on Dec 05, 2017

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