Corona virus Universal Credit and the eye opener for those new claimants that will live on it.

 

Make the “advance payment” for Universal Credit a grant not a loan – so that people get the money they need, when they need it, without being pushed into debt from the very start.

Why is this important?

Hundreds of thousands of people – who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced and never thought they would have to live off benefits but now due to Coronavirus – are now being forced to claim Universal Credit in order to feed their families and keep a roof over their head. But instead of being able to get the help they need immediately, they are forced to wait for 5 weeks before they can get any money, or take out a loan called an “advanced payment” to tide them over. The government only brought the advanced payment in after campaigners had previously pointed out during its introduction stage not everybody had enough money to last the day let alone 5 weeks

It means families will have to choose between going into debt and having smaller benefits payments in the coming months, or waiting over a month for money they need to pay for food, bills and rent.

It doesn’t have to be like this. In this time of national crisis, the government could choose to end the 5 week wait by making the “advance payment” for Universal Credit a grant not a loan. This would mean families get the money they need straight away, and their full universal credit payment in the following months. MPs and experts are calling on them to do exactly this. Huge public pressure could be enough to push them to do the right thing.

People who until recently may of lived a completely different lifestyle then the one they are going to live claiming universal credit.

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