Universal Credit changes: Are you eligible for Universal Credit top-up from October?

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Universal Credit is a payment made to millions each month, to help with living costs for those on a low income. The payment replaces individual benefits like Child Tax Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance, instead of giving one payment to include all the benefits you are eligible for. Now some claimants may be getting a boost to their October handout.

Some who claim Universal Credit will be eligible for an increase of up to £405 per month from October 8.

Claimants could get £120, £285 or £405 with their next Universal Credit payment if they qualify.

This increase has been brought in to plug the gap between the old benefits system and Universal Credit.

Thousands found themselves on less when switched to Universal Credit, affecting people who need Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

Read More: Universal Credit can be received by state pensioners under these rules

These claimants were affected if they were also receiving a top-up allowance called Severe Disability Premium (SDP).

Justin Tomlinson, minister of state at the DWP, confirmed the payment change to MPs last week.

He said: “On July 22, 2019, we laid legislation to provide additional financial support for former SDP recipients who had moved to Universal Credit on account of a change of circumstances.

“The UC (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 provide for the conversion of these transitional payments into transitional elements.

“This means that payments will be made through the UC system rather than manually, and all transitional protection will be subject to the same rules.

“I will be signing a determination setting the conversion day to 8 October 2020.

“This is when the UC system will have capacity to convert SDP transitional payments to transitional element.”

Are you eligible for the Universal Credit top-up from October?

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Not everyone on Universal Credit will receive a boost to their payments.

The amount given and eligibility are as follows:

£120 a month where the Universal Credit claimant has been confirmed as having limited capability for work and already receives an additional amount in their UC award because of their health condition.

£120 a month for joint claimants who were receiving the lowest couple rate SDP and are receiving the limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA) part of Universal Credit

£285 a month for claimants not in the Universal Credit limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA) group (roughly the equivalent of the lower rate SDP at £65.85 a week)

£285 a month for joint claimants who were being paid the lower couple rate SDP and are not receiving the LCWRA component in Universal Credit

£405 a month for joint claimants who were getting the higher couple rate SDP in their existing benefits

Ken Butler, Welfare Rights and policy adviser at Disability Rights UK, said: “Over 13,000 disabled people who previously received SDP have lost this on moving to Universal Credit.

“While the introduction of these compensation payments is really good news, it’s important to remember that the Government has had to be forced to provide them only because of a significant legal judgement.

“The High Court ruled in May 2019 that the Government’s UC migration arrangements for those who previously received the SDP and moved onto Universal Credit before January 16, 2019, were unlawful.

“And the compensation payments will not help those who meet the SDP eligibility criteria only after their move to Universal Credit.

“The Government should introduction a disability element to UC itself to replace the disability premiums that have been cut from the UC system.”

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