United Kingdom

Nearly a million Britons try to claim Universal Credit over two week period

Nearly a million Britons have signed up for Universal Credit in the last two weeks after the coronavirus pandemic batters the UK economy.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a number of measures over the last fortnight designed to prop up businesses during the pandemic, but many people have had to turn to the benefits system.

Around 880,000 people applied for Universal Credit in a two week period, up from the 100,000 applications normally made during this time period, as reported by The Sun.

Around 880,000 people applied for Universal Credit in a two week period, up from the 100,000 applications normally made during this time period

Labour MP Stephen Timms,  chairman of the work and pensions committee, said: 'These are enormous figures. There are going to be a lot of people who will struggle to get the bare essentials in the next few weeks unless they are on Universal Credit.

'It is really, really important.' 

Universal Credit is project from the Department for Work and Pensions which has replaced six existing benefits with one monthly payment.

Those benefits are child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance and working tax credit.

A number of people have reported finding themselves in lengthy queues of thousands of people as they attempted to register on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.

Some people have reported lengthy queues of thousands when trying to sign up for Universal Credit

Due to the sheer amount of claims the DWP has redeployed 10,000 staff to help manage the number of applications.

The Chancellor also announced a number of boosts to Universal Credit increasing how much people will receive.

An increase in the standard allowance will boost the income of a single Universal Credit claimant aged 25 or over from £317.82 to £409.89 a month, or £4,918.68 a year, the biggest benefit boost since 1999.

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