UK Credit

Universal Credit: Six changes you need to be aware of that could affect your benefit payments | Personal finance | Finance

Big changes will come into effect over the next few weeks that will affect the amount of Universal Credit people will receive. There will also be tougher measures for people looking for work, which could see their payments stopped.

Millions of Britons depend on Universal Credit because they are looking for a job or have a low income.

However, a recent change from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) means the time frame for people to accept a job offer has been reduced.

Previously benefit seekers could spend three months trying to secure a role they had experience in, but that has now been reduced to just four weeks.

After that, applicants are expected to accept further job offers or risk having their payments stopped.

READ MORE: Millions of carers will miss £650 cost of living payment

From July 14, people are set to start receiving £326 to help pay skyrocketing energy bills.

About 2.6 million people who still receive tax credits will be transferred to Universal Credit in the coming months, which could affect their payments.

People can wait for the DWP to contact them or they can report a change in circumstances and move out sooner.

However, people might not be better off with Universal Credit.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons still rely on a postal account to collect their benefits, but the DWP will stop paying money into these accounts from November.

HMRC has already stopped payments to Post Office accounts for child benefit and tax credits.

Anyone who gets universal credit or other benefits paid into a postal account must choose a new account to which their money will be paid before November.

Failure to do so could mean they lose benefits – more information can be found at Gov.uk