This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Stop Universal Credit and let claimants stay on the original benefits.

Universal Credit is a disgrace and forcing people on to the benefit is so cruel. It shouldn’t have been introduced. Many families are living are in debt, living in poverty, some claimants have took their own lives which is saddening.

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Theresa May / The Government needs to put a stop to this and fast. People can’t make ends meet and and as said people took their own lives, families living in poverty what not evidence Is there ?

People’s lives have been and are still being ruined.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

18,911 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 10 April 2019

Universal Credit roll-out is now complete and is the main social security system in the UK; taking on new claims and those where claimants experience a change in circumstances.

Read the response in full

Universal Credit is fully rolled out in all jobcentres across the country. We have reached a point in which there is no access to the legacy system, other than for existing claimants with no significant change of circumstances, or those who are receiving the Severe Disability Premium as part of their legacy benefit, or were receiving it within the past month and continue to meet the eligibility conditions. Changes of circumstances that would necessitate a new claim to benefits can no longer be dealt with in the legacy systems, as the resources required have already been transferred to Universal Credit. In their report the National Audit Office acknowledged that “it would be both complex and expensive to revert to legacy benefits at this stage”.

The Government will begin the test phase of moving existing legacy benefit claimants onto Universal Credit in July 2019 and is committed to delivering this process in a way which supports claimants. In 2019, we will pilot and refine our approach with a small number of claimants to check that it is working well, before we take on larger volumes in 2020. We will complete the process by the end of 2023. As part of that, we are working closely with claimants, charities, experts and other stakeholders, making sure that it works for everyone and building in safeguards to ensure that vulnerable claimants are fully supported.

We know that work is the best route out of poverty, and Universal Credit is designed to strengthen incentives to move into and progress in work. Evidence shows that Universal Credit is working. The Universal Credit Full Service Claimant Survey shows that 9 months into a Universal Credit claim 40 per cent of claimants are working for an employer in a paid role, as opposed to only 23 per cent at the start of their claim. This is because Universal Credit is designed to strengthen incentives to move into and progress in work by scrapping the ‘cliff-edges’ of the legacy system, which penalised people for working more than 16 hours a week and providing more help with childcare costs.

The Department has put a range of measures in place to make Universal Credit more generous, and to help claimants financially. This includes offering advance payments worth 100 per cent of a claimants expected Universal Credit award and paying those claimants moving from Housing Benefit onto Universal Credit a two week ‘transitional housing payment’. As was announced in the Autumn 2018 Budget, we will also be providing a two-week run on of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance from July 2020. We are also increasing work allowances by £1000 from April 2019, meaning working parents and working disabled people can keep more of the money they earn.

Suicide is a tragic and complex issue which we take extremely seriously. The Government’s Suicide Prevention Strategy, backed by £1.5 million for research, aims to reduce the suicide rate and provide better support to those bereaved or affected by a suicide. The well-being of people accessing and receiving support from DWP is of the utmost importance and we have improved support and guidance for staff on how best to support vulnerable people.

Each Jobcentre has a complex needs toolkit in place to help identify claimants who are in need of support. These are maintained locally and contain a named single point of contact responsible for claimants with specific vulnerabilities such as Homelessness and Care Leavers. Jobcentre staff also have access to information on services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants and will signpost claimants to national and local organisations who provide specialist support.

We have already started providing all our Work Coaches with an additional two-day workshop, designed by experts in mental health and psychologists and this will have been completed by all our Work Coaches in the coming weeks. From April 2019, we will begin providing this training across the Department to all staff who are employed in a claimant facing role.

Department for Work and Pensions