Universal credit | CPAG

Universal credit

Financial help in the early years

August 2021
This factsheet outlines the financial help available from pregnancy to school age.

Universal credit and access to justice: applying the law automatically

20 September 2021
This report focuses on some of the problems UC claimants are experiencing both making a claim for UC and receiving accurate payments, which appear to be caused by the digitalisation and automation of the UC system. Claimants who have specific life circumstances are experiencing similar problems because the UC computer system seems unable to calculate their UC payment correctly and in accordance with the law.

NEW! More Scotland Webinars announced

14 September 2021
Find out more about our brnad new webinars to take place in December and February

Importance of the £20 a week Universal Credit increase in mitigating social security losses to families since 2010

06 September 2021
This report presents analysis by CPAG, commissioned by Action for Children, on the importance of the £20 increase in mitigating the damage caused by social security losses over the previous decade for a typical working family.

Time for Lunch: why children in poverty are currently denied free school meals

03 September 2021
For children living in poverty, school should be a place where they can access learning and essential opportunities in the same way as their peers. Free school meals should be available so children can eat during their school day without any worry and parents have one less thing to think about. That way, children can focus on learning, playing and fully participating in their education. Unfortunately, for more than a third of children in poverty in the UK, access to a free daily meal at school is denied.

Scotland Webinar:  Mix 'n' Match - UC when you're pension age 1 February 2022

1st February 2022
Online Scotland
UC is a working age benefit but some people over state pension age have to claim it. Before May 2019, if you were part of a couple where one was...

Children can't wait: investing in social security to reduce child poverty in Northern Ireland

26 August 2021
The upcoming Anti-Poverty Strategy is a chance for the Northern Irish Executive to invest in measures that make a difference for children. By setting out an ambitious vision, measurable targets, and by committing to investment in children, the Anti-Poverty Strategy can set us on a path to a future where no child grows up in poverty. This briefing by Save the Children UK and CPAG looks at some of the ways the Executive could achieve this. It examines how changes in social security would lift children out of poverty.

A UC sink hole – the minimum income floor returns

30 July 2021
Last October, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis tweeted a warning about the ‘huge sink hole awaiting many self-employed’ people when the suspension of universal credit’s minimum income floor ended. While the government extended the suspension, it now ends this week. Self-employed workers up and down the country will start to be affected (with some possible concessions) after 31 July, and may face huge financial difficulties as a result.   

Universal credit and work: the reality

21 July 2021
In attempting to justify the unjustifiable, namely the cut to universal credit that is due in October, secretary of state for work and pensions Thérèse Coffey said the government was: ‘shift[ing] the focus strongly on to getting people into work.’ But this is a cut that will affect millions of working families. The government has subjected our social security system to so many cuts and freezes that families desperately needed the £20 increase and it must stay, but universal credit’s very design still makes it hard for parents to escape poverty through work.

Universal credit: what needs to change to make it fit for children and families?

21 July 2021
Universal credit (UC) is now the main working-age benefit in the UK. Since its inception, UC has been plagued with administrative issues and budget cuts and, as a result, its early promise to reduce poverty has yet to be realised. When the pandemic hit, swift changes were needed to make UC fit for purpose including an increase in the amount of financial support provided and a relaxation of some of its most punitive rules. However, the vast majority of these positive changes have already been reversed, or are due to be reversed in the coming months.