Universal Credit boost of £812 could help Britons as payment cut due – can you apply?

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Universal Credit is designed to help Britons who are out of work, unable to work or on a low income. Due to the pandemic, this number has risen recently, as many struggle with business closures or reduced pay due to furlough. Understanding the need for support, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took steps to provide Britons with a helping hand.

The Department increased Universal Credit payments during the pandemic, calculating at an average £20 per week.

The uplift was supported by many, however, only intended to be a temporary measure.

Now, with restrictions lifted by the Government, it will be withdrawing formal support measures as people get back on their feet – meaning Universal Credit will effectively suffer a cut.

This has been a controversial move, with many people, organisations and charities calling for the uplift to be made permanent. 

Regardless of the situation one faces though, an additional sum to help during hard times is likely to be welcomed.

Although Universal Credit is effectively being cut back, this does not mean there are not other forms of support available for those in receipt of the benefit.

The Department for Work and Pensions has explained some may be entitled to an extra amount to help their circumstances.

This could be the case for those facing emergencies, particularly within the home.

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The method of help is known as a Budgeting Advance, and could be worth hundreds of pounds.

A Budgeting Advance can help with a number of costs, such as emergencies happening in the home – like a broken cooker or faulty white goods.

The sum could also help individuals who need to get a job or stay in work, with their needs.

And another example of where a Budgeting Advance could prove useful is if a person sadly has to meet funeral costs.

The smallest amount a person can borrow is £100, but this can increase depending on circumstances.

Up to £348 is available for those who are single, with up to £464 set aside for those part of a couple.

Those with children could receive up to £812 worth of support, showing the value of a payment like this.

Ultimately, though, what a person receives is based on a number of factors, including:

  • If the loan can be paid back
  • If a person has any savings over £1,000

Should a person’s savings go over this threshold, the DWP will reduce the loan amount by £1 for every £1 over the limit.

It is important to note, however, that the Budgeting Advance is merely a loan form the DWP.

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Individuals will need to pay this sum back eventually through their Universal Credit payments, and subsequently will have lower sums until the amount is paid back.

If a person no longer receives the benefit, they will still be required to make repayments, such as from wages.

Deductions are made from a person’s monthly Universal Credit payment, and the first deduction is made on the day a person gets their next payment.

Now, Universal Credit claimants are required to repay this advance within 12 months.

Responding to the Universal Credit change, a Treasury spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “Throughout this crisis, the Government has spent £400billion protecting people’s jobs, livelihoods and supporting businesses and public services. 

“We went long and extended economic support well beyond the end of the roadmap, right through to the end of September. That includes unprecedented welfare support.

“More than £9billion will have been spent on the uplift by the time it ends in September. It is right that economic support is wound down as we come out of this crisis and we focus on helping people back into work. 

“We have purposely provided a three-month cushion once restrictions are lifted in order to support those who most need it.”

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