‘You are not alone,’ says Universal Credit applicant who is ignorant of impending changes.
UNIVERSAL CREDIT payment cuts are only two months away, but Citizens Advice has highlighted alarm over claimants’ lack of awareness of the changes. As a result, the charity released guidelines on everything you need to know about the Universal Credit cut.
From October 6, 2021, Universal Credit payments will be reduced by £20 per week, or £1,040 per year. Claimants should receive notifications about a benefit cut in the coming weeks, however Citizens Advice has warned that many may still be unprepared.
According to the organisation, which is fighting the cut, roughly six million Universal Credit applicants will be affected if the plans go forward.
It was revealed that more than a third (38%) of those who will lose money are currently employed, while one in six (16%) are under the age of 25.
Furthermore, according to the latest government estimates, about 1.9 million families with children will see their payments reduced.
Geographically, the changes will have the greatest impact on London and the North East.
While every Universal Credit claim will be reduced by roughly £85 per month, the percentage of income claimants who will lose money will vary based on their circumstances, with single persons under the age of 25 experiencing the greatest reduction.
The following are the reductions in monthly standard allowances for Universal Credit payments:
According to Citizens Advice, £20 a week is comparable to six days’ worth of electricity or three days’ worth of food for a low-income family.
Citizens Advice has highlighted the following support options for struggling families in light of these issues:
“Many people seeking our help at the present are unaware of an anticipated cut to their Universal Credit,” Kate Green, a Senior Benefits Expert at Citizens Advice, said.
“It’s understandable that learning that their benefits will be reduced by £20 per week generates a lot of anxiety.
“If you find yourself in this situation, know that you are not alone and that help is available. As a first step, make sure you’re reviewing your online diary on a daily basis to keep track of how much and when your benefits will be reduced.
“Citizens Advice is here to help you comprehend the cut and what you can do if you’re having financial difficulties.”
“More than half a million people have come to Citizens Advice,” Morgan Wild, the Head of Policy at Citizens Advice, added.