Universal Credit decision: How long do I have to wait for a UC decision?

Thérèse Coffey grilled on migration of Universal Credit

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The benefit is for individuals who are out of work or are currently on low income and has replaced a number of old benefits. Universal Credit has been raised for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, giving claimants an additional £20 per week.

Unfortunately, the Government has decided to drop the uplift instead of making it permanent, with the raise being phased out in the autumn.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government is focusing on a “jobs led” recovery from the pandemic and to “get people into work”

Some six million people are currently on Universal Credit in the UK, and 37 percent of these people are in work.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that the cut will force half a million people into poverty, including 200,000 children.

Job centre sign

Universal Credit decision: How long do I have to wait for a UC decision? (Image: GETTY)

But to benefit from Universal Credit at all, you first need to get on it.

You can apply for Universal Credit via the Department for Work and Pensions on the Gov.UK website.

You will need to have a lot of information to hand to make sure there are no issues with your application, including your National Insurance number, proof of your nationality, details about the people you live with and employer details, if you have any.

You’ll also need to let them know about any savings, investments or other capital you may have.

Universal credir

Universal Credit decision: How long do I have to wait for a UC decision? (Image: GETTY)

How long does a Universal Credit decision take?

Once you have finished your application and sent it to the DWP, you will wait five to six weeks for a decision.

It can take longer if you need to satisfy a habitual residence test.

You can help the process along by completing the claim form thoroughly and providing evidence promptly.


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There are many reasons why a claim might be delayed. For example:

• You may be unable to provide a national insurance number straight away

• There could be an error by you or the benefit agency

• Further information or evidence may be required to support a claim

• There could be delays in processing claims at the benefit agency

• There could be a problem with the payment method

Universal credit

Universal Credit decision: How long do I have to wait for a UC decision? (Image: GETTY)

How do I appeal a Universal Credit decision?

If you disagree with the decision about your Universal Credit claim, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to change it.

You will need to ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ – this means the DWP will look at the decision again.

There is a one month period to disagree with the decision unless you were seriously ill.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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