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Universal Credit: getting to first payment

The Department for Work & Pensions has introduced Universal Credit (UC) to replace 6 means-tested benefits with a single payment. The benefits being replaced are: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.

The National Audit Office has carried out several Value for Money studies on Universal Credit implementation, including our 2018 report Rolling Out Universal Credit. This latest study will focus on the process of making a claim and getting to first payment. The study will examine the Department’s progress, since we last reported, in improving the proportion of Universal Credit claims paid on time and in full. We will also examine the accuracy and efficiency of the process, and how well claimants are supported.

As part of this, we are interested in the perspectives of claimants and organisations that support claimants. We produced a questionnaire which gave charities and organisations who represent claimants and members of the public with experience of dealing with Universal Credit the opportunity to share their perspective. This questionnaire closed on 10th February. Thank you to everyone who contributed.