Coronavirus: Universal credit claims hit monthly record – BBC South East Wales

Man walks past job centre

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Claims for common credit score – the profit for working-age folks within the UK – hit a report month-to-month degree within the early weeks of lockdown.

There have been 1.5 million claims made between 13 March and 9 April, official figures from the Division for Work and Pensions (DWP) have confirmed.

That is six instances greater than in the identical interval final 12 months.

The info comes as separate figures confirmed the variety of folks claiming unemployment profit soared in April.

What’s common credit score?

Common credit score changed six different advantages, reminiscent of jobseeker’s allowance, revenue assist, housing profit, and tax credit. This unites all these advantages right into a single cost.

The newest figures present that, as of 9 April, a complete of 4.2 million folks had been in receipt of common credit score.

This was an increase of 1.2 million folks in a single month. Additional claims from others in search of common credit score might have been unsuccessful or stay unfinished.

Many individuals claiming will likely be in work however on low incomes, however others could have misplaced their jobs.

The DWP mentioned that the variety of folks on common credit score had elevated by 40% because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All areas had seen a rise within the complete variety of claims within the early levels of the pandemic, the division mentioned.

By the 9 April, the north west of England was the area with the biggest proportion of individuals claiming the profit.

Polly Neate, chief govt of housing charity Shelter, mentioned: “With an enormous surge in folks making use of for advantages and early warning indicators of main job losses to return, it is clear that Covid-19 goes to ship shockwaves by way of our economic system like by no means earlier than.

“Folks paying common rents face big shortfalls and lots of are racking up critical money owed that put their houses in danger. With out extra assist, they are going to be swept up in a tidal wave of evictions when the federal government ban lifts.”

The present advantages lure

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Jon Fitzgerald

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Jon and Vicky Fitzgerald need to warn others in regards to the challenge

Copywriter Jon Fitzgerald was receiving tax credit, however they had been stopped when he utilized for common credit score when work dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His common credit score declare was unsuccessful due to his financial savings, however the guidelines of the system imply his tax credit weren’t reinstated.

“We have now now misplaced effectively over half our present month-to-month revenue on the press of a button,” Mr Fitzgerald mentioned.

“We took the federal government recommendation in late March to use for common credit score to assist us by way of [but] we now have been left with out monetary assist at a time once we most want it.”

Anybody contemplating making use of for common credit score is being urged to examine their eligibility first, and guarantee they won’t find yourself worse off.

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