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Universal Credit: questions & answers part two

Last month we had the first instalment of a series of questions commonly asked by employers at Universal Credit events. We carry on this month with more questions that regularly get asked.

How will Universal Credit be paid to claimants?
In most cases Universal Credit is a single, monthly payment which is paid in arrears into the claimant’s account.Couples living in the same household receive one monthly payment between them.
Payments include eligible housing costs and households are responsible for managing their own rent payments.

What happens when someone on Universal Credit starts work?
They must inform DWP who records this, then the PAYE sends automatically as soon as it is received from the claimant’s employer. People with more than one job don’t normally need to inform DWP as the information comes through automatically. Self-employed workers need to report their earnings themselves.

How long will someone have to wait for their benefit if their earnings change?
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears and is designed to automatically adjust depending on the amount someone earns in that time. If earnings reduce in their assessment period then payments will be higher. If earnings increase, payment will be reduced to reflect the higher earnings.

How does Universal Credit operate when someone works irregular hours?
Universal Credit deals with changes in earnings and irregular earnings. It will not end when earnings increase, unless earnings are high enough to leave Universal Credit altogether. PAYE information from the employer means that Universal Credit payments adjust automatically.

How does Universal Credit work alongside Auto-enrolment?
Auto enrolment into a Workplace Pension isn’t linked to Universal Credit.

What tax code should we put Universal Credit claimants on?
Universal Credit claimants should use their existing tax code.

How does Universal Credit work with benefits in kind?
Universal Credit won’t initially take ‘benefits in kind’ (employee benefits that do not take the form of money) into account.

For further information on Universal Credit, visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit

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