Benefit change to go ahead against committee’s advice

  • Despite the governments advisory committee’s warning that proceedings should be stopped, ministers are planning on introducing a seven day waiting period for universal credit claims. welfare bill 2.jpg

    The Social Security Advisory Committee, who advise the government, has published a report on the plans alongside the government’s response. Under this new measure claimants will have to wait seven days before they are able to claim universal credit, on top of the month they already have to wait between making a claim and receiving their first payment, reports Inside Housing.

    The SSAC’s report has said that the policy should not go ahead “based on the persuasive and compelling evidence” presented to the committee from bodies including social landlords and other third sector organisations.

    The DWP has said that “the government does not accept this recommendation.”

    The government believe that this new measure will save £150m and that people moving onto universal credit should “budget for this initial period using earnings from their previous employment”.

    Certain ‘vulnerable’ groups are exempt from the waiting days measure, including the terminally ill and recent victims of domestic violence.

    Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said the policy “could cause serious problems for some people because most universal credit claimants have no savings to fall back on. We’re disappointed that the government has not taken on board the recommendation of the independent committee it appointed to examine this proposal.”

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