Universal Credit and six reasons your payments could be cut

There are almost six million households in the UK claiming Universal Credit and how much you can claim depends on your circumstances, which are assessed each month. This means your Universal Credit payment is subject to change as it is calculated in a variety of ways, e.g. B. Your living conditions, your employment and your income and savings.

There are some specific reasons your money might be reduced or suspended – and it’s important to be aware of these so you can plan for changes to your payments.

Under the Mirror online outlines some of these factors that can cause your UC payments to fluctuate.

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You made more money from work

If you are employed, the amount of Universal Credit you receive each month depends on your income.

For every £1 you earn, your payment is reduced by 55p – this is known as the taper rate.

In short, the more you earn from your work, the less Universal Credit you get.

Some people are entitled to a work allowance, which is a set amount you can earn before your benefits are reduced.

You are entitled to unemployment benefit if:

  • You are responsible for a child or young person
  • You have a disability or medical condition that affects your ability to work

If you get help with housing costs your work allowance will be £344, or if you don’t get help your work allowance will be £573.

You have reported a change in circumstances

There are certain life events and changes in circumstances that also affect your Universal Credit payments.

For example, if you move, get a job or if you have recently inherited money. Not all changes in circumstances will result in a reduction in your Universal Credit — some may even increase your payments.

It is important to notify Universal Credit of any changes as soon as possible so you are not overpaid or underpaid.

Changes listed online that Universal Credit expects you to notify include:

  • Find or quit a job
  • have a child
  • Move in with your partner
  • Beginning of caring for a child or a disabled person
  • Changing your mobile number or email address
  • Moving to a new address
  • Change of your bank details
  • Your rent rises or falls
  • changes in your health
  • Getting too sick to work or meet your work coach
  • Changes in your income (only if you are self-employed)
  • Changes to your savings, investments, and how much money you have
  • Changes to your immigration status if you are not a UK citizen

They were sanctioned by the DWP

When you sign up for Universal Credit, you usually have to agree to do certain things – such as: B. looking for a job and taking part in job interviews at the JobCenter.

If you fail to complete the duties you signed up for, you will be sanctioned and your salary will be reduced.

There are four penalty levels, each of which determines how long your penalty lasts: Higher, Medium, Low, and Lowest

The lowest level applies if you only have to meet the job interview requirement and do not attend or attend a job interview. It takes time for you to attend one.

For the maximum penalty, you will be sentenced for 91 days for your first major penalty and 182 days for your second and each subsequent major penalty in any 364-day period.

The DWP will tell you what type of sanction you have received and how much your money will be cut.

You can appeal a sanction if you think you have been wrongly punished. This is called mandatory verification.

You pay off debts

For example, if you have debt if you are behind on your rent or owe money to your utility company, a “third party deduction” may be applied to your Universal Credit.

You only get a deduction if the creditor asks for the DWP and is usually 5% of your basic allowance, although it could be more.

Deductions are only possible for:

  • Rent arrears and other housing costs such as utilities – the deduction can be between 10% and 20% for rent arrears
  • Gas, electricity or water residue
  • Backlog of council tax bills
  • child support maintenance
  • Some credits
  • Some fines

You received too much Universal Credit

If the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) has overpaid you with Universal Credit, they will take the money back from your future payments.

You can ask not to pay back the overpayment – but you don’t have to say yes.

This is referred to as “exercising its discretion not to recover an overpayment” and is at the discretion of the DWP.

You can report an overpayment by logging into your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit Helpline.

You owe money to Universal Credit

If you took out a cash advance, hardship payment, or budget advance, it will come from your future Universal Credit payments.

That’s because these are all technically loans, so they have to be repaid.

An upfront payment is money given to new Universal Credit applicants to help them cover their bills while they wait for their application to be processed.

A budget advance is usually given for one-off and unexpected payments, e.g. B. Home repairs or a uniform for a new job, while those who have been sanctioned and are struggling receive a hardship payment.

How long you have to pay back these payments depends on how much you borrowed.

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