Martin Lewis urges universal credit applicants who have been turned down or received reduced compensation for the benefit in the past year to reapply.
Writing in the latest issue of the MoneySavingExpert.com newsletter, the consumer champion explained how many people may have seen a decision go against them due to the amount of savings they or their partner had at the time of the request. .
Some six million people across the UK are currently applying for Universal Credit, a benefit designed to help those who are unemployed or on low incomes meet the costs of daily living, but when you apply your savings may have to go. have a huge impact on how much, if any, of the benefits you are entitled to.
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit and if you have savings of over Â£ 6,000 you may still receive reduced financial support, however if you have over Â£ 16,000 you will not get any. law.
And if you live with your partner, you must apply jointly to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as their income and savings will be considered, even if they are not eligible for universal credit.
But MoneySavingExpert.com has now confirmed that the UK government says people who drew on their savings during the coronavirus pandemic can now reapply for universal credit or request that their application be reassessed to reflect the change in their circumstances.
Martin wrote: “If you are eligible for UC [Universal Credit], but you or your partner have more than Â£ 6,000 in savings, your reward is reduced. From Â£ 16,000 and up, you get it now.
âIt impacted a lot during the pandemic, so they used up their savings. If so, the government has confirmed to us that you can reapply / request to be reassessed, based on the new lower savings amount.
This could be especially helpful for anyone who was laid off or made redundant during the pandemic and received a lump sum as they are now eligible for cash assistance.
Here’s a quick guide on what to do if this is affecting you.
Request denied due to savings of over Â£ 16,000
If your savings have now fallen below the Â£ 16,000 threshold, you can reapply immediately by reapplying.
The fastest way to apply for universal credit is to apply online, remember that if you are a couple and live in the same household, you will need to apply jointly.
If you get reduced Universal Credit payments due to savings between Â£ 6,000 and Â£ 16,000
If your savings balance has gone down since you made your initial request, simply update the amount in your universal credit account online here.
MoneySavingExpert.com advises, âDo this as soon as possible to make sure you get the full amount you are entitled to.
âOnce you’ve entered your change in circumstances, you should see the amount you get change when you need to make your next payment. “
If you do not have access to digital services or have accessibility issues, you can call the free Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Learn more about reporting changes to your Universal Credit application on the GOV.UK website here.
You can also use an independent benefit calculator to find out:
These calculators are free, anonymous, and can indicate any benefits you are missing out on.
Where to find help
Scotland Direct Tips
This new online tool is the first to fully integrate vested benefits, including the new Scottish Child Payment.
It provides a free and impartial assessment of entitlement to a range of benefits such as universal credit, crisis grants and support payments.
Information on income related benefits, tax credits, local tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start working or change your working hours
Policy in practice
Information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, counseling tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit, how they are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start working or change your working hours
Information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, local tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start working
What you will need
You will need specific information about your:
Income, including that of your partner
Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
Expenses (like rent, mortgage, child care expenses)
Municipal tax invoice
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