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Universal Credit (Removal of the Two Child Limit) Bill briefing

08 July 2022
The Universal Credit (Removal of the Two Child Limit) Bill is a Private Members’ Bill brought forward by the Lord Bishop of Durham to remove the limit in universal credit (UC) that restricts support to just the first two children in a family. The second reading will take place on Friday 8 July.

Demands to repay: the impact and legality of the DWP’s reverification of UC claims

09 June 2022
At the start of the pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) relaxed some evidence checks for people making a universal credit (UC) claim to provide quicker access to benefits. In January 2021, the DWP began reverifying the details of claims made while evidence checks were eased. This has resulted in some claimants being asked to pay back the entirety of their UC award. More than a year after the exercise started, we continue to hear from people who have had their UC payments stopped, who have received demands to repay all the UC they received, and who are unable to understand or challenge the DWPs decision.

Reducing deductions: the first step in a package of support for low-income households

17 May 2022
New data released today shows that 4.1 million households were claiming universal credit (UC) in February 2022. Benefits were recently increased by less than half the rate of inflation, meaning these families saw the real value of their UC fall by £660 a year on average. And while benefit levels sit at historic lows, an estimated 1.8 million households are receiving an average of £61 less each month than they are entitled to because of automatic deductions from their UC payment.

Briefing for MPs on Queen's Speech

10 May 2022
The Queen’s Speech was a missed opportunity for the government to introduce legislation that would support people in the short term and improve living standards in the longer term.

Making Adjustments? The experiences of universal credit claimants with mental health problems

24 February 2022
We undertook research to find out whether the DWP is meeting the needs of people with mental health problems and making adjustments to their service as required by law. UC was promoted in its early stages as a personalised service, providing support to meet people’s needs. We wanted to find out whether it has lived up to this ambition.

Nothing left to cut back: rising living costs and universal credit

15 February 2022
New statistics out today show that in November 2021, 3.6 million children were in families relying on universal credit (UC). With prices set to rise at twice the rate of benefits, these families and others receiving benefits face a real-terms cut to their income.

The cost of a child in 2021

13 December 2021
Child Poverty Action Group’s annual cost of a child report looks at how much it costs families to provide a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for their children. Since 2012, this report series has systematically monitored the minimum cost of a child. This report updates those calculations for 2021 and outlines the factors affecting the latest figures. The total cost of raising a child to the age of 18 now stands at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.

Disabled young learners locked out of universal credit

08 December 2021
New regulations will come into force on 15 December 2021 that further restrict access to universal credit (UC) for disabled young people in education. This contradicts government policy to support disabled people ‘to live independently and achieve their potential’ by making it harder for them to advance their skills or in some cases complete basic education.

Transforming social security: How do we provide secure futures for children and families?

03 December 2021
Our Secure Futures for Children and Families project asks the question: What does a social security system that provides a secure future for children and families look like? Through a programme of roundtable events with different audiences, four citizens’ juries, and a series of written contributions, we have explored this question in detail. This report brings together what we learned from these activities.

Policy briefing – The problem with universal credit’s assessment periods and how to fix it

22 November 2021
UC claimants paid weekly, two-weekly or four-weekly sometimes receive an additional pay cheque in a single UC assessment period. This causes the claimant’s UC award to drop significantly even when there is no change in their circumstances. CPAG frequently hears from working claimants struggling to manage financially because their UC income is so volatile.