Universal Credit payments are usually issued once a month – or twice a month for some people in Scotland – to help with living costs. Britons are usually eligible for Universal Credit if they are on a low income, out of work, or are unable to work. The once a month payment is often valuable for individuals who claim from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
- Making more frequent than monthly payments
- Paying housing costs directly to a landlord
- Splitting the payment of an award between partners
These alternative payment arrangements can be considered by a work coach or case manager at any point throughout a claim.
It is also the case that a claimant themselves can raise the matter of APAs to see whether this is appropriate.
The arrangements are considered on a case by case basis, and are totally dependent on a person’s specific circumstances.
According to the charity Gingerbread, there are a number of situations where an APA could be applied.
First is paying the Universal Credit housing costs to the landlord, where it is part of the Universal Credit award to ensure a person keeps a roof over their head.
Next, where appropriate, DWP staff would then consider if a more frequent payment is needed, rather than the standard monthly arrangement.
Finally, a split payment of an award between partners is considered in very particular circumstances.
This can occur, for instance, in cases of financial abuse, or where domestic violence is occurring between partners living in the same household.
Universal Credit claimants have been provided with financial assurance in recent months with the £20 per week uplift helping many.
However, claimants should be aware this level of support is due to come to a close soon.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the measure, originally intended to be temporary, will end in October.
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