UK Credit

Martin Lewis shares vital universal credit advice – thousands urged to verify their accounts

Martin Lewis shared an important post on Universal Credit, stating that thousands more people would need to verify their accounts in case they are now eligible for the benefit.

The founder of MoneySavingExpert urged people to re-examine their finances and consider reapplying if their first attempt is denied at the height of the Covid pandemic.

The reason is that universal credit is a means-tested benefit. Thus, the amount of your income and savings will affect your eligibility and the amount to which you are entitled.

You get less CU if you have savings of over £ 6,000 – and if your savings are £ 16,000 or more you won’t be eligible at all.

READ MORE: Millions of Unclaimed Lost Pensions Across UK – Check What You Could Get

This would have affected people who received substantial severance pay during the pandemic or who already had such amounts in their savings accounts.

But in the time since the start of the Covid crisis, those glitches may have been reduced for those who are forced to live off their savings in the absence of benefits or other government assistance.

So you need to look at what’s in your bank or mortgage company savings accounts and see if you are now eligible to apply for universal credit again.

Martin explained in his MSE newsletter: “If you are eligible for [Universal Credit], but you or your partner have more than £ 6,000 in savings, your reward is reduced. From £ 16,000 and up, you get it now. “

“This impacted many people 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, depending on the new amount. lower savings. “

Benefits aid site Entitled To has stated that for every £ 250 (or any portion of £ 250) you have over £ 6,000, your Universal Credit will be reduced by £ 4.35 in each assessment period.

For example, if you’ve saved £ 6,200, your Universal Credit will be reduced by £ 4.35.

You may need to provide proof of your savings and other capital, he said.

You must report to the DWP information on all savings and other capital that you and / or your partner have. This information can be found on documents such as:

  • Books or statements from a bank, building society or post office
  • investment and share certificates
  • a professional real estate appraisal (other than the property in which you live)
  • National cash certificates
  • annuity or trust fund documents
  • Premium bonds

If you cannot find them, you will need to contact the person or company who can provide you with this information.

However, those who switch to universal credit will do so now just as major changes are coming.

First, the minimum income floor restarts at the end of July – although the DWP has promised claimants won’t see any effect on their benefits until the end of September.

And then the universal credit increase of £ 20 per week was confirmed to end this fall.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has confirmed that the increase in the allowance’s standard allowances has stopped, after being extended for six months from the start of the fiscal year in April 2021.

Speaking to the Labor and Payments Committee, she said: ‘Before October we will start communicating with the current applicants who are given £ 20 to let them know that they will be phased out and start to see a adjustment of their payments.

“I think a lot of it will start to kick in in October, but it will be September for some people.

“The current proposal is that we will recognize that this has been brought into line with temporary measures to support people during the pandemic. It is being phased out in accordance with all other temporary measures. “

However, activists say jobless families will end up with just over half of the income the public thinks they need for an acceptable standard of living when the universal credit boost is phased out.

Conservative MPs, charities and think tanks have warned it will hit poorer families the hardest and called for its retention.

Loughborough University’s Social Policy Research Center conducted research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on what the public thinks everyone needs for an acceptable standard of living – the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).

The researchers found that the impending cut would reduce the value of unemployment benefits to their lowest levels on record compared to what the public thinks is acceptable income.

They found that an unemployed couple with two children aged three and seven will receive 55 percent of the MIS in benefits after the reduction, while unemployed single adults without children will receive around one-third of the MIS.

Research also shows that the national living wage is not enough for single adults to reach the MIS.

A single parent with two children working full time and earning the living wage is £ 46 per week below the MIS.

A single adult without children must earn £ 20,400 per year to reach the MIS, but would only earn £ 17,400 if working full time on the living wage.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is calling for the UC increase to be retained and extended to people receiving inherited benefits who were not eligible.

Policy and Partnership Officer Iain Porter said: “It is deeply concerning that millions of households across our country have to live on incomes so far below what the public thinks are necessary for a minimum standard of living.

“Social Security should be strong enough for all of us when we need a lifeline, but the cuts and freezes of recent years have left her on edge.

“We urgently need to restore public confidence by investing in adequate social security support for families when they need it.

“It would be a terrible mistake for ministers to further weaken universal credit by going ahead with the planned £ 20 a week cut in October, leaving millions of families unable to meet their needs.”

A government spokesperson said: “The temporary increase in universal credit was put in place to support those with the lowest incomes during the pandemic.

“Now that the restrictions are ending, it is right for the government to focus its support – through our multibillion pound jobs plan – on helping people learn new skills to advance their careers, increase their hours or find a new job. “

Jonathan Reynolds, Labor’s fictitious Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, added: “There is almost universal opposition to this cut, including from prominent Conservatives.

“It is time for the government to understand common sense, support struggling families and reverse their cut to universal credit.”

The Universal Credit is the biggest change to the social protection system in a generation.

But what exactly is it and how does the system work? Here’s everything you need below. Follow the links below to find out more.

1. What is the Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new social security benefit that was approved in the Social Protection Reform Law of 2012 and first appeared in 2013. At the end of 2018, it was rolled out to all centers for the employment.

It replaces six existing benefits, now known as “inherited benefits”. Find out more by clicking on the link above.

2. Universal Credit Calculator – How Much You Will Get

The amount allocated to you is calculated based on various factors.

The government says that if you have children, have a disability, or need help paying your rent, you may be entitled to additional amounts on top of the standard allowance. Find out more by clicking on the link above.

3. Eligibility for universal credit and how to apply

Among the eligibility criteria, you must be low-income or unemployed.

And it is important to keep in mind that your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not claiming the allowance themselves. To learn more about eligibility, click on the link above.

4. How often is it paid and how does the online account work?

To obtain universal credit, TWO accounts are necessary.

One is a Universal Credit online account where your details (such as the date of the next payment) are available, the other is a payment account at a bank or building society where the government pays with your money. Find out more by clicking on the link above.

5. Universal Credit contact numbers if you need assistance

There are special support numbers to call if you need help. They have been replaced by free numbers, so there are no call charges. Find out more by clicking on the link above.

6. How to change your payments if you are having difficulty

Applicants should be aware that the first payment is not made until five weeks after an application, and monthly thereafter.

If you’re not in the habit of waiting a whole month for your payment, this can be difficult. But there is a little known way to get around this. Find out more by clicking on the link above

7. What to do if your universal credit payments are cut

The Work and Pensions Department sometimes imposes penalties on applicants if they appear to have broken the rules, for example by not showing up for employment office appointments.

In such cases, universal credit may be cut off or stopped altogether. Find out what to do by clicking on the link above.

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