Universal Credit was first announced in 2010 and was then slowly rolled out in 2013. It will eventually completely replace housing benefit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and income support.
“I understand the problems of obviously making sure everyone gets on and gets properly assessed.
“But, the original plan as I think the others have said, was a maximum of a four week wait and we thought that covered it all.
“It was a decision made after the 2015 election”.
It should be noted that if claimants really can’t wait five weeks for their first payment they can apply for an advance loan.
If the advance is awarded, it may be able to cover up to 100 percent of the claimants estimated Universal Credit payment.
The advance will then need to be repaid back to the government and deductions will be made from future Universal Credit payments until it is completely repaid.
A claimant should think carefully before requesting an advance however.
The advance will need to be repaid even if the claimant comes off Universal Credit and DWP could contact a person’s employer to get debt collection agencies involved to retrieve the money owed.