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Hundreds of thousands of universal credit claimants have been forced to wait for around 11 weeks to receive their benefits, it has been revealed:

The National Audit Office (NAO) finds that although the government has significantly improved the proportion of claims paid on time – from 55 per cent to 90 per cent in the last three years – “unclear” communication from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has caused people with complex needs and circumstances to “slip through the net”

In 2019, new claimants who were paid late faced average delays of three weeks in addition to the five-week wait for a first universal credit payment. Around 6 per cent of households – amounting to 105,000 new claims – waited around 11 weeks or more, according to the report.

There have been 2.5 million new household claims for universal credit since mid-March, with one in five adults in Britain having applied or planned to apply for benefits as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The NAO carried out the research before the pandemic hit, but the watchdog said the issues raised were only going to become more important as the economic upheaval caused by the crisis continue.

And the Tories said they’ve been handling this so well!

For the record, 11 weeks is more than twice as long as claimants should expect to wait – and it is well-known that the five-week wait is considered to push people into poverty and debt.

How much worse have the Tories made it for all the claimants they’ve had since the Covid lockdown?

Source: Hundreds of thousands of universal credit claimants forced to wait 11 weeks for benefits, watchdog warns | The Independent

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