Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has questioned Ministers from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on financial support for vulnerable universal credit claimants. This took place at DWP questions on 13th May, the transcript of which is below:
Giles Watling MP
What steps her Department is taking to increase financial support for vulnerable universal credit claimants compared with the legacy system.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP)
Universal credit makes sure that payments reach those who need them most. Around 1 million disabled households will receive, on average, £100 more per month on universal credit than on the system it replaces. As a single system that integrates six legacy benefits, universal credit will enable 700,000 households to access approximately £2.4 billion of welfare that was previously unclaimed.
Giles Watling MP
I recently wrote to the Secretary of State about one of my constituents in Clacton and the severe disability premium. I set out in the letter that my constituent was moved on to universal credit in October but now says that she is £185 a month worse off. I know the draft Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 will rectify her situation and provide a lump sum to cover the missed payments since she moved. This is welcome, but when does the Secretary of State expect the regulations to be voted on so they can become law, especially given the real need of some claimants now?
Secretary of State
I thank my hon. Friend for raising this important matter on behalf of his constituent. As he will be aware, there has recently been a court judgment on the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (SDP Gateway) Amendment Regulations 2019, and we will have to wait to consider it before I will be able to give him an update. I will come back to him on the earliest possible occasion, because I understand the concern his constituent must have on this matter.