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Yesterday the Government announced their budget for the next financial year. There were lots of announcements around Universal Credit, which have been further added to today by David Gauke, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

 

1.    They are slowing down the roll out of Universal Credit slightly.

  • The rollout of UC has been slowed down slightly. In Merthyr Tydfil the roll out has been delayed from March 2018 until June 2018 .

 

2.    Made it a little easier to access money

  • From February 2018 Universal Credit waiting days will be abolished. This will reduce the waiting time from 6 weeks to 5 weeks.
  • From January 2018 those who need it, and who have an underlying entitlement to Universal Credit, will be able to access up to a month’s worth of Universal Credit via an interest-free advance. (Current maximum is 50%). The government will extend the period of recovery from 6 months to 12 months.
  • The chancellor stated that ‘we will make it possible to apply for an advance online’.

 

3.    Making it a little easier to pay rent

  • From April 2018, Universal Credit claimants on Housing Benefit immediately prior to their UC claim will be able to claim Housing Benefit for a further 2 weeks.