Was Universal Credit INTENDED to cause massive errors in payments? DWP accounts suggest so!

Online journalist David Hencke is to be praised for digging these facts out of the black hole of Whitehall obscurity: The Department for Work and Pensions has recorded its worst year of benefit payment failures, with Universal Credit the worst offender. Mr Hencke reports that the department has been censured for material inaccuracy in its accounts for the 32nd year in a row – going back to the days of the old Department for Social Security. Annual accounts released on June 30 show that “Excluding State Pension, the estimated rate…

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Tory Universal Credit minister says he’s seen no evidence it puts people in debt. Because he’s not looking?

What has Will Quince been doing? Spending every working day with his eyes closed? He’s the minister in charge of Universal Credit – and when told research showed people on it were 70 per cent more likely to be in rent arrears than people on old-style Housing Benefit, he said he’d seen no evidence of it. It’s a clear admission of incompetence. Here’s the Mirror: The research was from Citizens Advice, which helps run the Help to Claim service, chair Stephen Timms said. Mr Quince said he would need to see…

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If Tories don’t support abusers, why does Universal Credit push people to stay in abusive relationships?

Twisted Tory rules mean that people are financially encouraged to stay in abusive relationships rather than claim Universal Credit. The Conservative government has deliberately weighted the conditions under which the so-called benefit is paid to make it more difficult for people to survive by claiming it than by living with an abuser – even if this means endangering their own lives. People with disabilities are particularly at risk. But then, those of us who are familiar with the Tory record on disability have come to expect that. Unite the Union has…

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Universal Credit is increasing debt and failing disabled people, says SNP

The SNP has renewed calls to make Universal Credit advance payments non-repayable grants instead of loans after new research showed the five week-wait and advance payments under Universal Credit are contributing to financial hardship and debt – particularly for disabled claimants. The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) needs to do more to support vulnerable people and others claiming Universal Credit, revealing that disabled claimants and people on low incomes are more likely to claim advances and have other debts to…

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Cynical: Tories pilot 30-minute phone appointments for ‘claimant commitment’ interviews – to impose sanctions quicker?

Isn’t it amazing how the Tories can go straight into action on some plans, while others take forever? So we see them testing fast-track phone interviews lasting a brief 30 minutes to get up-to-date claimant commitments for Universal Credit claimants. This is because the Tories promised not to sanction anybody’s Universal Credit payments until up-to-date claimant commitments were established. They had suspended conditions attached to receipt of Universal Credit during March, meaning that the millions who have claimed the so-called benefit since then have never been subjected to the sanctions…

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Universal Credit claimants have been forced to wait 11 weeks for benefits

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…

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Benefit sanctions achieve little more than increasing anxiety and depression – LSE

Benefit sanctions lead to increases in claimants’ anxiety and depression, and a re-assessment of the role of sanctions is needed as the UK slowly emerges from lockdown – according to the London School of Economics. According to a recent assessment, current sanctions policy can be considered to be ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’. Importantly, there are straightforward steps that can be implemented to minimise the harms associated with sanctions and to help realise the basic right to a social minimum. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should … assess the impacts…

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Take part in the online day of action against Universal Credit sanctions

Today – July 1 – conditionality and sanctions return to the UK’s benefit system. This means the two million people who signed up for Universal Credit because of the Covid-19 crisis will now be expected to show they are looking for work, and will be sanctioned if they fail to do so. For the first time, they will experience what – for example – people with disabilities have suffered under the Conservatives for the last 10 years. Some people are about to be rudely awakened from their previous complacency, I…

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Covid-19-related Universal Credit claimants will face sanctions for first time

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – brace yourself! From June 30, you’ll be under threat of sanction if you can’t prove you’re actively seeking work. The Tory government is reimposing the threat of sanctions as it lifts lockdown restrictions – because Boris Johnson and his cronies intend to use the stick to get us back at work rather than the carrot. A lot of people are about to realise how awful claiming #UniversalCredit is #covid19 https://t.co/5WNbCEv4Wg — Charlotte Hughes. The Poor Side Of…

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The Tory disablist double-bind: risk your life at work – or risk it by being denied benefits

Isn’t this the Conservative government turning the screw on people with disabilities – and on parents – yet again? People could be forced to take on work that places their health at risk or face losing their benefits as the government’s suspension to job-seeking requirements for benefit claimants is set to come to an end within days. The government announced in March that the requirement for people receiving universal credit to prove that they are looking for work – which would currently apply to more than 2 million people on…

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