Despite knowing Universal Credit causes serious problems for claimants, the Tory government is pressing ahead and rolling it out to thousands of people who will have to wait weeks to receive any money.
Claimants are descending into debt, relying on food banks, getting into rent arrears and in many cases getting evicted from their homes because of in- built problems with Universal Credit.
Who gets Universal
Universal Credit replaces five benefits – child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and working tax credit.
Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours.
What needs fix
Unite is calling on the government to:
- Abandon the long waits for claimants to receive money
- Allow people to apply for Universal Credit in a jobcentre, not just online
- Provide people with better help when the system fails them
- Pay landlords directly to stop people getting into rent arrears and losing their homes
- End benefit sanctions for in-work and out-of-work claimants
- Stop payments going to one named member of a household
- Make work pay – Universal Credit takes 63p in every £1 people earn
To find out what benefits you’re entitled to or for further help or information on Universal Credit visit Turn2us, a national charity that helps people gain access to welfare benefits and support services through their website or helpline
Tell us your story
Have you been affected by Universal Credit? If you would like to speak to Unite about your experience of Universal Credit please contact Liane Groves.