The Government promised that when you are moved onto Universal Credit from the current system that no one will be worse off. Indeed if you use the calculator on Turn2Us it can give you a Universal Credit calculation if your not on the new system and move onto Universal Credit. It also shows if you will be worse off and how much of a ‘top up’ you could be entitled to, making it the same as your current benefits…follow that? Good.
But because George Osborne reversed his plans for tax credit cuts that would be coming in to effect in April they are of course finding the money else where and just not shouting about it.
A new rule is coming, the Liberal Democrats are attempting to overturn this new rule but if you move onto Universal Credit, are worse off and receive the top up they have said they will top you up all is brilliant till you change your circumstances. Once your circumstances are materially changed i.e earn more, less, find a partner and live together ….then your claim will be classed as new claim, reassessed at a new less generous rate and any previous top up is scraped. So if you had a top up you loose that and could potentially be a lot worse off.
If you are a single parent, find love, move in together it means your roughly £1000 worse off. Just to really add salt to that wound if that single parent partners with another single parent they then could be hit further if the plans to limited child tax to only two children goes through.
Now before everyone goes bananas at me that the new situation should be reassessed, I agree new circumstances should be reassessed. But isnt it unfair that they promise any moves from one system to another wont make you worse off but remove that promise if your circumstances change? To keep that promise shouldn’t new circumstances be assessed on the old calculations?
Its a very sad world we live in that even when you work all the hours you can, be it single or coupled, you still probably wont earn enough to not qualify for benefits. Benefits making it up to what they consider enough to live on. And that Universal Credit now encourages couples to live apart.