Universal Credit claims will be affected if you’ve previously applied – what to expect

Universal Credit is designed to encourage people to seek out employment and/or extra work where they can. Payments tend to reduce the more the claimant earns until there is no need to claim at all.


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Unfortunately, an opposing circumstance is now in effect due to coronavirus.

Many people who came off Universal Credit once they found work, may now find themselves needing state support again.

Coronavirus has already severely impacted the economy and further job cuts are expected.

Claimants may feel disheartened by needing to claim again but fortunately, the system is designed to make reapplying easy.

Claimants who previously received Universal Credit may not have to go through the full application again.

So long as it has been six months or less since the claimant’s last Universal Credit payment, it will likely be the case that the application will take less time than usual.

People in these circumstances will simply need to log in to their existing Universal Credit account and make a new claim.

This should take less time than the initial application and the payments will come through on the same dates as before.

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It should be noted that even though reapplying will be quicker, it will still require certain efforts from the claimant.

This is because when a new claim is made, letters, documents and messages will normally be deleted from the online account.

It is advisable to keep a record of documents and certain messages to help with a new application.

The payments themselves have had many alterations in recent weeks.


  • Universal Credit: Why first payment could be less than the estimate

As the new tax year started Universal Credit payments of all kinds were raised by 1.7 percent.

On top of this, the government provided a separate boost to payments in response to coronavirus.

In mid-March, Rishi Sunak announced that Universal Credit standard allowances will be increased by £1,000 a year.

This will provide claimants with an additional monthly amount of around £80.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer recognised the importance of state support and welfare payments as he introduced unprecedented changes to the system.

As he confirmed: “I’m strengthening the safety net for self-employed people too, by suspending the minimum income floor for everyone affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus.

“That means every self-employed person can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

“Taken together, I’m announcing nearly £7billion of extra support through the welfare system to strengthen the safety net and protect people’s incomes.”

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