The Department for Work and Pensions has responded to calls for changes to the way Universal Credit payments are awarded to claimants.

Concerns have been raised surrounding potential increases in payments for the 2023/24 financial year amid government talks of potential rises.

Although yet to be decided, it is reported certain benefit payments could be due a huge 10% boost later this year.

Why could Universal Credit payments be delayed?

As it was in 2022, April 11 is the date pension and benefits upratings typically begin.

This means anyone who begins the one-month assessment before April 11 receives their benefit amount in May, however the amount will be calculated on the old rates when the assessment period started.

The new rates will not be received as a payment until June, meaning a two-month delay from the start from the assessment period.  

DWP respond to Universal Credit payment concerns

The issue was raised by Shadow SNP spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Martyn Day.

He revealed he wanted to "ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will change Universal Credit policy so that claimants whose assessment period misses the uprating date of the first Monday of the tax year do not have to wait two months before receiving an uplift."

DWP minister David Rutley revealed there are no current plans to address the concerns raised.

He said: "Increases in Universal Credit come into force from the start of the first assessment period beginning on or after the first Monday of the tax year (or from the start of the first assessment period beginning on or after any earlier date in April).

“As Universal Credit is a calendar monthly assessed benefit that is paid in arrears, a claimant will receive their newly-uprated benefit award at their first full Assessment Period that follows the change. “

He added: “There are no current plans to alter how the uprating of benefits interacts with claimants’ assessment periods."