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November 01 2020
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Ian Kalman finds the move to Universal credit stressful

When Universal Credit (UC) was rolled out it was said to be the future of the benefit system. The government said that by 2017 everyone would be on it. We are now coming to the end of 2020 and there are parts of the country with people still on legacy benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).

At present the only way you are forced to apply for UC, unless your area is migrating over, is if you have a change of circumstances. I myself am facing this as I have moved address. I am finding it frustrating as now I must prove who I am!

I know there are advantages of being on UC, one is if you do any paid work, then benefits are still paid, unlike JSA which just stops.

There is one other advantage. When the lockdown started it was announced that everyone on UC would receive an extra £20 a week for one year. You may ask what about people on the ‘legacy’ (old) benefits? They were not forgotten: they received an increase of 1.7%

So in my mind the government created a 2-tier poor system. This increase is only for one year, so, in April 2021 those people on

UC will find their benefit cut by approximately 26%. I will be watching this with interest because by that time I will be a pensioner.

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