The Work and Pensions Committee writes to Damian Green highlighting a number of serious concerns about how Universal Credit is operating in practice, and saying that the practical operation of Universal Credit must be an urgent priority for the Department following the General Election.
Concerns about Universal Credit
While many respondents to the Committee's inquiry supported in principle the objectives of Universal Credit, the Committee heard a near unanimous set of concerns about its implementation, including:
- Claimants waiting 12 weeks or more for their first payment, resulting in hardship and distress.
- Vulnerable claimants struggling to adapt to receiving UC as a single monthly payment.
- The seven waiting days at the start of a claim, for which claimants receive no benefit, adding to claimants' financial difficulty.
- Rent arrears amongst UC claimants rising.
- Poor communications between landlords, support organisations and the Department where UC ‘full service’ is operating.
- UC inadequately supporting claimants in emergency temporary accommodation.