New analysis: 1.8m households on universal credit have benefit deductions

17 May 2022
An estimated 1.8 million households on universal credit (UC) are having to live on significantly less than they are entitled to because the DWP is deducting debt repayments from their benefits at an unaffordable rate, according to new CPAG estimates.   There are an estimated 2 million children in these households. 

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.

Budget 2021: delivering on debt deductions?

09 March 2021
Most of the attention in post-budget analysis of social security announcements rightly went to the government’s decision to extend the £20 uplift to universal credit (UC) by just six months. However, the budget also outlined changes to how the government reclaims advance payments made to UC claimants.

One million Covid-19 universal credit claimants have deductions from benefits

07 January 2021
More than one million households forced to claim universal credit (UC) when coronavirus struck are entering the New Year having debt deductions taken from their UC, and almost all include repayments of an advance taken out to get them through the five-week wait for a first UC payment, new analysis for the Covid Realities research project shows.

Fairness in government debt management

20 October 2020
Our response to the Cabinet Office’s call for evidence regarding fairness in government debt management draws on cases from the Early Warning System. It focuses on the debt deductions which are applied in universal credit claims, which are subject to complicated rules and high rates which cause hardship.

Mind the gaps - briefing 9

10 July 2020
This is the ninth in a series of briefings, Mind the Gaps, which highlight some of the gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.