Coronavirus: Nearly a million universal credit claims in past two weeks

woman with pushchair and man walking into a job centre

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The pandemic has led to the closure of Task Centres

Just about a million people have utilized for universal credit history advantages in the earlier fortnight as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened.

The Section for Function and Pensions mentioned 950,000 thriving programs for the payment were built concerning 16 March, when people today ended up advised to do the job from household, and the conclusion of the month.

The office would generally expect 100,000 promises in a two 7 days time period.

Officials reported they were being functioning “flat out” to aid individuals get support.

The figures display the substantial improve in need on the advantage process because the govt urged persons to steer clear of non-vital vacation and contact with some others to curb the unfold of the virus.

There was a warning on Wednesday that 20% of smaller organizations could fold in the following month because of to the collapse in customer demand, regardless of unparalleled government intervention to aid jobs.

‘Pressure on services’

Universal credit score is a consolidated month to month payment for these of doing work-age, which replaced a host of past advantages which includes profits-dependent jobseeker’s allowance, housing advantage, boy or girl tax credit and operating tax credit score.

In October 2019, there had been 2.6 million common credit claimants - just in excess of a 3rd of whom have been in do the job.

The authorities explained the profit program was even now “delivering” even with the massive maximize in need.

“With these kinds of a enormous improve in statements there are pressures on our services, but the process is standing up well to these and our focused team are functioning flat out to get people the aid they require,” a spokesperson mentioned.

“We’re using urgent action to increase capability - we’ve moved 10,000 present staff to the support on the front line and we are recruiting additional.”

Considering that the virus struck, the federal government has produced a sequence of modifications designed to make it much easier for the self-employed to declare the advantage and to make certain they will not drop out as their earnings dry up.

Labour has urged ministers to go much even further - expressing way too quite a few men and women are nonetheless acquiring to wait as well extended to get funds.