‘It’s barely enough now!’ Thousands worse off as DWP moves millions to Universal Credit

They announced that over two million people on means tested state benefits will be moved to the newer benefit, Universal Credit. The move is set to take place over the next couple of years, and be completed by 2024.

Over half of the people being moved to Universal Credit will be better off. However the Government’s figures showed that 900,000 will be entitled to less money.

On BBC Money Box last week, Presenter Paul Lewis spoke to a listener who may be affected by the move. He suggested that of the 900,000 that could be worse off, many could be disabled.

Debbie is 55 years old and she currently claims Personal Independence Payment (PIP) but she is worried that she will be getting less money once she has been moved.

PIP can be claimed by eligible Britons who have a physical disability or health condition that affects their everyday life.

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Debbie is 55 years old and she currently claims Personal Independence Payment (PIP) but she is worried that she will be getting less money once she has been moved.

PIP can be claimed by eligible Britons who have a physical disability or health condition that affects their everyday life.

She said: “It’s just myself and my husband at home. I’m 58 and the only income I have coming in is PIP and my husband is my carer.

“He gets income support for both of us. The only other benefit we get is Carer’s Allowance but that’s taken off of his income support.”

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“We’d have to think about do we buy food, or do we buy the gas and electricity because it comes down to that.

“They say they want to help people and you hear about families and occasionally pensioners, but it’s never disabled people on benefits.

“If they are moving all these people on to it, I just hope they sort everything out and people get paid what they are entitled to.”

Benefits advisor Will Hadwen explained what group of people may be entitled to more money once the move takes place.

He mentioned that the people who get more, most likely will be people that work.

He said: “People that are getting tax credits and housing benefits and work. They could end up on more money.

“But there are other people that work that could end up on less money that’s the only unfortunate thing about Universal Credit.

“It’s difficult to make sweeping announcements but if you work but you don’t have rent or housing costs then you could end up worse off. I would say that Debbie is a person who would get less when on Universal Credit, but she would get transitional protection, but this could go down over time.”

He suggested that people should seek advice as there are many other things to think about, not just how much people will be getting.

BBC Money Box is available on BBC Sounds.

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