New universal credit rules which could leave 200,000 claimants waiting six months for their benefit have sparked fresh fears over increased tenant rent arrears.
The new regulations, which were quietly laid in parliament last week, have been described by social landlords as likely to lead to increased hardship and evictions.
Currently, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calculates a claimant’s universal credit monthly. If they earn above a certain threshold in that month, their entitlement is reduced or removed. Under the new rules, the DWP will take into account earnings the claimant has made in the six months previously.
This means a person who earns a larger amount in one month, but nothing the following month, may find they are unable to claim universal credit for up to six months. The change only applies to people making repeated claims within six months of a previous claim ending.
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