Rishi Sunak says the Universal Credit uplift was 'temporary'
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Universal Credit is a benefit intended to help individuals who are out of work, unable to work, or on a low income. The benefit is issued to eligible Britons usually every month to help them cover day-to-day costs. However, many people are missing out on the chance to claim benefits according to recently released research.
The charity Turn2Us has estimated that close to £3billion has not been claimed in Universal Credit over the past year.
It has estimated that some one million individuals are currently not claiming the sum to which they are entitled.
This means Britons are missing out on an average £2,900 each through the Universal Credit system.
However, it is not just Universal Credit which Britons are failing to claim, the charity has asserted.
Estimates by Turn2Us based on Government figures state there have been at least £15billion of unclaimed benefits last year.
This includes Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Child Benefit and more.
The reasons for not claiming benefits to which one is entitled are varied, with research by the charity showing almost half of people have never checked their entitlement.
Cited amongst reasons why were institutional stigma, cultural shame and negative representation of benefit claimants.
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Thankfully, if a person does wish to claim Universal Credit, the process is designed to be as simple as possible.
Individuals will be able to apply for the benefit online, but should apply as a couple if living with a partner – even if the pair are not married.
Britons will, however, need to have certain information to hand in order to support their claim.
- Bank, building society or credit union account details
- An email address
- Information about one’s housing, such as rent payments
- Details of income, such as payslips
Individuals will also be required to verify their identity online, using proof such as a driving licence, passport, or credit card.
After an application is submitted, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make an appointment with claimants either over the phone, or face-to-face.
Sonya Ruparel, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Turn2Us, said: “There is an endemic issue of unclaimed benefits in the UK.
“The confusing, sometimes hostile, and often stigmatising world of social security has led to millions of people not claiming their entitlements.
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“Our new tool sets out to simplify, de-mystify and compassionately support people to access the money they are due.
“Everyone who goes on to claim the benefits our calculator tells them they are entitled to receives an average of £5,320 a year.
“It is so important for people to check.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the matter.
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