10th August, 2020
The House of Lords report concludes, amongst other things:
Currently, Universal Credit claimants must wait five weeks for their first payment. Claimants are given the option of an Advance Payment if they do not think they will be able to manage financially, but this is expected to be repaid via future deductions to their Universal Credit.
The report acknowledges that the five-week wait is the primary cause of insecurity in Universal Credit and despite changes being made by DWP to mitigate the worst effects, these have fallen short of what is required. It has been suggested that the DWP should introduce a non-repayable, two-week initial grant to all claimants. For claimants moving from certain legacy benefits to Universal Credit, this grant could replace the existing system of run-ons. This would provide some security to claimants and would make repayments of advances more manageable.