Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today published a range of Management Information highlighting the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the number of claims to Universal Credit.
Commenting on the figures, Minster Hargey said,
“The number of claims to Universal Credit during this crisis has been unprecedented and demonstrate the scale of the issues people are facing surrounding work. From the start of this crisis, my priority has been to ensure that the most vulnerable and those most in need across our society receive all the support and financial help that is available to them. The huge increase in claims to UC since the beginning of this crisis show the scale of job losses here, nowhere has been left untouched. This has had a terrible impact on people’s lives.”
The Minister continued,
“Despite these unprecedented numbers, my Department was able to make 99.1% of all payments due over that period on time. I am very proud of the work my staff are doing and would like to thank them again for the way they have responded to this increase in work, at a time when they themselves have had to adjust to the necessary measures we have introduced to ensure they are protected as key workers”.
Concluding the Minister said:
“My Department will continue to do all it can to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and I remain determined to ensure that those most affected continue to receive all the support they are entitled to.”
The Management Information on the impact of COVID-19 on Universal Credit claims can be found at www.communities-ni.gov.uk/impact-covid19-uc-claims
Notes to editors:
- The Department, through NISRA, publishes a quarterly statistical bulletin on Universal Credit data. However the bulletin covering the current period is not due to be published until August. The release of this information is to meet the significant interest in Universal Credit applications since March and does not replace the official statistics that will be published in due course.
- On 1 March, the number of adults on the live caseload claiming Universal Credit here was 70,000. By 26 April, those numbers had risen by 80% to 126,000. The number of applications during those 8 weeks totalled 65,700, with a tenfold increase in new claims recorded at the height of the crisis in mid-March. Despite these unprecedented numbers, the Department was able to make 107,330 payments on time, representing 99.1% of all payments due over that period.
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