Over a million households are set receive a one-off lump sum of £149 in their bank accounts, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed.
The lump sum payment will be paid to those switching from one of the legacy benefits that Universal Credit is replacing.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the rule changes for the “run-on” came into effect on July 2.
The cash, to be paid automatically, will be worth up to two weeks of a claimant’s legacy benefit award, which could be between £118 and £149.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee said the new payments “have been a long time coming”.
Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “This one-off payment will provide additional support as claimants move from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.
“It doesn’t have to be paid back and won’t affect their UC award, so is welcome extra cash in pockets.”
Run-on payments will include other premiums that claimants have been receiving prior to moving over to Universal Credit, including:
- Enhanced Disability Premium
- Carer Premium
- ESA work-related activity component
From March 1, 2020 to May 26, 2020, the DWP has received more than three million individual claims for Universal Credit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic impact.
Which legacy benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit?
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and Labour MP for East Ham Stephen Timms said: “Like many desperately needed changes to Universal Credit, these new payments have been a long time coming – they were announced in the 2018 Budget.
“They are a welcome sign that the Government recognises that the five-week wait for a first payment of Universal Credit causes serious difficulties for people.
“The Committee’s inquiry into the wait has heard evidence, though, that they may not be enough. We’ll be making recommendations to the Government in the autumn once we’ve finished hearing evidence about the options for action.”
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Gillian Guy said millions of people who have lost their jobs as result of the coronavirus crisis were still subject to the five-week wait.
She said: “While advances are available, they have to be repaid, which can leave people with a choice of struggling now or struggling later.
“Turning advance payments into a grant would strengthen the safety net and make sure more people don’t face hardship or debt if they need support from Universal Credit.”