Universal Credit claimant emotionally discusses verification issue
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plans to switch up Universal Credit will see an estimated half a million eligible Brits will benefit from the extra £1,000 on offer. The first benefits of the updated full service Universal Credit and legacy benefits have been implemented this week while others may have to wait until 2026.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed the taper rate and work allowances which started this week.
The most anticipated update will see eligible claimants gaining an extra £1,000 every year thanks to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plans as announced in the Autumn Budget.
Taper rates, which look at the speed of which support is removed from those who work for their earnings, being reduced.
The reduced rate of 55 percent will mean for every £1 above the work allowance earned by a claimant on Universal Credit, their payment will be reduced from 63p to 55p.
Alongside this, work allowances have been increased, meaning that families can earn over £500 more each month before seeing their UC payments reduced.
These changes combined will see nearly two million families £1,000 better off every year.
Mr Sunak noted that the taper relief is due to be implemented by December 1, 2021 rather than the usual deadline of the start of the next financial year.
However, the updates and changes don’t stop in 2022 as the DWP intends to move all existing legacy benefits claimants onto Universal Credit.
The migration scheme dubbed “Move To UC” will be completed by 2026 although it has been noted that dates are likely to change but the DWP will announce any delays or changes.
Child Benefit will not be replaced by Universal Credit.
For those currently claiming legacy benefits, they have been advised to stay on the same benefit from 2022 till 2026 when the migration is due to be taking place.
Once all benefits have been moved onto UC, claimants will need to claim UC instead of a new legacy benefit and all existing benefits will be replaced automatically.
Once one’s benefits have been migrated they will be unable to go back to legacy benefits with the exception for disabled people.
The “Move To UC” was originally due to be tested from 2019 but this was halted during 2020 due to the pandemic and limited testing will restart in 2022.
The move will not be automatic and those on legacy benefits will need to make a claim, but further explanations, such as a video on all the upcoming changes for Universal Credit, is due to be released by the DWP.
Claimants that are eligible for this legacy benefit move will receive letters from the DWP from 2022 to 2026.
These letters will explain that they need to make an online claim within three months of receiving the letter.
If the UC claim is not made in time, the deadline can be extended if there is a good reason to have missed the deadline but any applicable transitional protection may be lost.
Transitional protection will be induced for those that may receive less under the UC system than they were getting from their legacy benefits.
The DWP will compare one’s entitlements under the old and new systems and may award any additional benefits to make up the difference in income.
The Minister for Disabled People, Chloe Smith, has also confirmed earlier this month that new benefit rules relating to terminal illness, ESA and UC will be introduced in April 2022.
This announcement follows the Government’s pledge from last year to make it easier for those with terminal illnesses to claim benefits.
The new “Special Rules” will change the limitations on fast-track applications for those with a terminal diagnosis from six months to 12 months.
These new rules are in response to the Scrap Six Months Campaign by the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie.
The confirmation of this introduction also followed a few days after it was highlighted by Disability Rights UK that 100 people that were denied fast-tracked disability benefits for terminal illness died whilst challenging the decision.
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