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In recent weeks a number of eligible people may have seen their Universal Credit payments boosted. The changes do not apply to all Universal Credit claimants, however, so read on to find out how to get extra money while claiming the Government benefit.
Can I get extra money on Universal Credit?
Former recipients of certain legacy benefits, who also claimed the severe disability premium (SDP), will now receive additional cash as part of their Universal Credit payments.
Campaigners argued they had lost a significant amount of money when they switched onto the new Universal Credit system.
Justin Tomlinson, a Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, said in a statement: “On July 22, 2019, we laid legislation to provide additional financial support for former SDP recipients who had moved to Universal Credit on account of a change of circumstances.
“As at January 17, 2020, we had already paid over 15,000 people, totalling more than £51.5 million.
“The UC (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 provide for the conversion of these transitional payments into transitional elements.
“This means that payments will be made through the UC system rather than manually, and all transitional protection will be subject to the same rules.
“I will be signing a Determination setting the conversion day to October 8, 2020.
“This is when the UC system will have capacity to convert SDP transitional payments to transitional element.”
What is Help to Save?
Universal Credit claimants can also receive extra cash through the Government’s Help to Save savings scheme, but how much extra money you receive is dependent on how much you save.
Essentially for every £1 put into a Help to Save savings account, the Government will award a bonus of 50p.
Each calendar month you can save between £1 and £50, although you do not need to pay into the account every month to get a bonus.
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Bonuses are paid out at the end of the second and fourth years of holding the account.
After the first two years your bonus will be 50 percent of the highest balance you saved over this period.
After four years, the second bonus is 50 percent of the difference between your highest balance saved in the first two years, and your highest balance saved in the last two years.
You can only have a Help to Save savings account for four years, and at the end of this period your account will close.
What is a Budgeting Advance?
A Budgeting Advance does not give you extra money while claiming Universal Credit, as you will have to make repayments on the amount you claim.
However it can help if you need more cash to pay for a big outgoing, such as new appliances or funeral costs.
With a Budgeting Advance you can get up to £348 if you’re single, £464 if you’re part of a couple or £812 if you have children.
What other support is available?
There is additional support available which some people claiming Universal Credit may be eligible for.
Universal Credit claimants may be eligible for School Uniform Grants, Council Tax reductions and Cold Weather Payments, to name a few.
Visit the Government website or contact your local Citizens Advice to find out what extra support you may be eligible for.
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