Universal Credit News: Advance payments offered as rollout continues
The Work and Pensions Secretary has announced that benefit claimants struggling to pay their bills will be able to get cash advances upfront, as welfare reform via Universal Credit continues to roll-out across the UK.
David Gauke told the Conservative conference that he recognises concerns that people switching to Universal Credit have to wait six weeks to be paid. Therefore those needing cash advances will get one within 5 days, or on the same day in emergency cases.
Although a dozen or so Conservative MPs have called for the roll out of Universal Credit to be put on hold, due to the financial difficulties people are currently experiencing from the transition from weekly or fortnightly to monthly payments, the Work and Pensions Secretary is still committed to the system and its implementation going ahead.
The UK government continues to insist that the vast majority of claimants are being paid in full, on time and are comfortable managing their money. However the official figures tell a different story;
- 24% of new Universal Credit claimants wait longer than six weeks to be paid in full – causing many to fall behind on rent.
- The latest Universal Credit Survey reveals rent arrears exceed £6.68 million.
- The average level of arrears per household is £414.40.
- 40% of UC claimants in arrears were not in arrears prior to going on to UC.
Are you worried about your tenants falling into rent arrears because of Universal Credit?
This is why thorough tenant referencing coupled with rent guarantee demand is soaring, what with county court judgements increasing by a whopping 35%. (click for full story)
Proactive tenants are also taking advantage of the Change Account via The Ark Passport, which enables the management of benefit payments effectively and provides a safeguard to both tenants and their landlords.