Housing: PM announces changes to Universal Credit rules
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This amount of money is part of the larger £650 cost of living payment which was introduced by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this year. As part of its delivery to claimants, the payment has been split into two separate instalments with the first currently being rolled out. However, the additional second instalment of £324 will be administered later in the year on a yet unknown date.
The £650 cost of living payment was created to assist those who claim means-tested benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Alongside Universal Credit, here is a list of the payments someone needs to be on to get this extra support:
For someone to be eligible for the first cost of living payment, which is worth £326, they must have been in receipt of Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period April 26 2022 to May 25 2022.
Alternatively, a claimant can also get the first payment if they are found to have been eligible for Universal Credit during this period of time at a later date.
The Government has confirmed it will update the public to announce qualifying dates to get the second payment of £324.
It should be noted that the cost of living payment will be paid separately to someone’s Universal Credit claim.
While the Government’s latest support package has received praise, some have called for even more targeted support to be introduced.
Paul Brennan, the director of Benefit Answers, shared his concerns about the cost living payment.
Mr Brennan explained: “The maximum amount will be going to people on Universal Credit and income support.
“It’s acceptable to target households already claiming, but if the Government is going to target this payment they need to look at those with additional needs that mean they go above and beyond average energy use.
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“Those are the people whose costs are going up astronomically day by day.”
The social security expert noted that collaboration between the Government and utility providers could assist those most in need over the coming months.
He added: “The process should be that first you look at the energy supplier and identify those with the highest bills.
“Using Government databases you can then find why that person has a high energy bill. Are they claiming PIP?
“Maybe that person requires the use of a dialysis machine and can’t ration energy in the same way others can. Shouldn’t those people be the ones most entitled to this payout?”
A Government spokesperson said: “The cost of living payments are targeted to those who need it the most, including people receiving contributory and new style benefits if they’re on a low income and receive Universal Credit.
“All households, regardless of benefit, will receive a £400 energy payment as part of the £37billlion cost of living package, and 80 percent will get a £150 Council Tax rebate.
“The Household Support Fund can also help families with essential costs, in addition to Discretionary Housing Payments which help people needing support to meet housing costs.”
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