Universal Credit is a state benefit that is currently replacing six benefits and is assessed each month to pay claimants on a monthly basis. Through this article, we will explore whether the DWP ask claimants for their bank statements when they make a claim for Universal Credit. In addition to this, we will also review the list of documents that claimants will be required to disclose before the DWP in order to claim this benefit. For a detailed understanding, we will discuss how Universal Credit payments are made, the eligibiilty criteria and payment details for the benefit as well as how incomes are assessed for a claim.

Do Universal Credit Ask For Bank Statements?

Yes, Universal Credit asks for the bank statements of claimants due to the following reasons:

  • confirm the idenity of the claimant(s)
  • assess their financial situation 
  • confirm whether their declaration of finances is accurate

Infact, if the Department for Wokr and Pension (DWP) suspects a claimant of a false benefits claim, they can also gain access to monitoring of their bank account to confirm whether a claim fraud has occurred.

In addition to your bank statement, you will also be required to share the following documents with the DWP when you make a claim for Universal Credit:

  • your identification details from your passport or driving license
  • your postcode
  • your NI number
  • your bank account, building society or credit union account number 
  • your monthly rental payments
  • your landlord’s address 
  • details of your savings and capital investments
  • details of your income and benefits
  • details of any child care payments made by you
  • child benefit reference numbers (if any)

To access your Universal Credit payments, you must have a bank account as well as an active Universal Credit online account. 

However, if someone is unable to manage their finances they can assign a power of attorney to a close family member in whose bank account their benefits claim can be paid. When claimants are incapable of managing their bank account either due to old age or disability, there needs to be a trusted appointee (usually a close family member) who will have to share their bank account details and manage the benefits claim on behalf of the claimant.

What Do They Ask You In A Universal Credit Phone Appointment?

In addition to your personal identification details, you can be asked about any of the following areas of your life during a phone appointment with regards to the Universal Credit claim:

  • personal circumstances such as child care or health concerns that may affect your work-related responsibilities
  • personal skills that you may have acquired outside your workplace
  • your educational qualifications and work experience
  • the type of job you aim to apply for
  • the number of hours you are willing to work

You may also be asked questions regarding the following areas of your personal life:

  • if you have any children (and how many)
  • whether or not you have a partner
  • if you think you will struggle to pay for childcare
  • if you have a disability or health condition
  • whether you are looking after someone with a disability or health condition
  • if you’ve experienced a personal loss in the recent 6 months
  • if you are being treated for alcohol or drug addiction
  • whether you have difficulty in reading or writing 
  • if you are homeless
  • if you have to do jury service 
  • whether you will struggle to pay for travel
  • if you have experienced domestic abuse

This telephonic conversation may generally last around 30 minutes and it is advisable to keep all relevant documents handy to be able to provide the required information without wastage of time. 

Why Do I Need A Phone Appointment For Universal Credit?

A phone appointment with regards to your Universal Credit claim is a normal part of the process as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) gather required information as evidence in support of your claim. 

These interviews may be held in person; however, to maintain a faster pace as well as avoid in-person visits since the onset of the covid 19 pandemic, phone appointments have been encouraged by the DWP and appreciated by claimants as well. 

Usually, a DWP adviser called a Work Coach will be the one asking the questions during a phone appointment for Universal Credit. The purpose of the interview is to confirm the information provided in your claim, assess your income and expense details, and discuss the work-related options available for you so that a Claimant Commitment may be drawn up. Once this document is finalised, you will become eligible to receive Universal Credit payments.

How Are Universal Credit Payments Made?

Universal Credit gets paid at midnight directly into your bank, building society or credit union account. Some banks process the amount by 11:30 pm so that claimants can withdraw the amount by midnight (as they are generally expecting to receive the amount by that time). Meanwhile, a lot of banks will process the amount a few minutes after midnight; where some of them may transfer the amount to your account by 2:00 am or 3:00 am.

Once you apply for Universal Credit and your claim is accepted by the DWP, it generally takes five weeks for the first month for the payment to be transferred to your account. Future payments are then made each month on the same date.

In the case of a weekend, bank holiday or a public holiday, the DWP transfers UC payments to claimants’ accounts on the last working day prior to the holiday.

How Much Can I Claim With Universal Credit?

The standard amount of Universal  Credit payments is classified on the basis of your age and relationship status. These are listed as follows:

  • If you are single and under 25 years of age, you will get £257.33 a month
  • If you are single and 25 years of age or older, you will get £324.84 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and both of you are under 25 years of age, you will jointly get £403.93 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and one or both of you are over 25 years of age, you will jointly get  £509.91 a month

In addition to the standard amount of Universal Credit payments, you will also get separate amounts for:

  • If you have children
  • If you need help with childcare costs 
  • If you need support with housing costs
  • If you are caring for someone
  • If you can’t work due to a sickness or disability
  • If you were previously getting a severe disability premium

These extra amounts are called elements and a claimant can qualify for more than one of them at the same time.

What Is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a state benefit for UK citizens above the age of 18 and below the state pension age. It aims to provide financial assistance to individuals who are either out of work or on a low income. It is a monthly payment that claimants receive to help them to cover living costs.

Universal Credit has replaced six benefits, referred to as the “legacy benefits” by serving a single payment for households and helping them meet housing and childcare costs. These include:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Additionally, it provides support for health conditions, disabilities or the role of a carer that prevents claimants from working full time or working at all.

Who Is Eligible For Universal Credit?

To qualify for Universal Credit, claimants must be able to fulfil the below eligibility criteria:

  • aged between 18 (in some cases it may be 16 or 17) and state pension age
  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • experiencing high costs for childcare
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal circumstances and income (if any). For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

What Counts As Income For Universal Credit?

During your benefits calculation by the DWP, not only is your job-related income(s) taken into account, but the authorities will also consider unearned incomes. These are incomes that individuals receive without having to work.  

Unearned incomes that affect your Universal Credit payments include the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (new style)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (new style)
  • Pension Income
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • State benefits that aren’t replaced by Universal Credit

For every £1 earned through any of the above means, £1 will be reduced from your Universal Credit payments.

However, the following unearned incomes do not count towards Universal Credit calculations:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Maintenance Payments
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Income From Boarders And Lodgers

Conclusion:

The discussion in this blog post makes it clear that claimants will be required to share their bank statements (along with other documents to prove their identity and financial status) when they make a claim for Universal Credit. In fact, if the DWP suspects that a claimant is making a false claim they are authorised to monitor the claimant’s bank account to check the financial activity taking place.  

FAQs: Do Universal Credit Ask For Bank Statements?

What questions does Universal Credit ask?

Questions can be related to your identification details your qualification and work experiences, your health condition and some personal details including your family life. The purpose of the interview is to confirm the information provided in your claim, assess your income and expense details, and discuss the work-related options available for you so that a Claimant Commitment may be drawn up. 

How long does a Universal Credit phone interview take?

While interviews were mostly held as a 50-minute in-person session in the past, it is now more common for work coaches to make a 30-minute phone call with claimants as they confirm details regarding their personal circumstances as well as working conditions. 

What evidence is needed for Universal Credit?

You will need evidence of your income, savings, health conditions, expenses and mentionable living conditions on the basis of which you have applied for a Universal Credit claim. It is best to keep copies of the required documents during your interview.

Can Universal Credit Check your bank account?

While Universal Credit may not be monitoring your bank account regularly, they can have access to your bank statements and transaction details through access provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. The purpose of this is to confirm your financial details as claimed in your application.

How many payslips do you need for Universal Credit?

You (and your partner) will need to provide at least 5 weekly or 2 monthly payslips in support of your Universal Credit claim. If this is not possible, then a detailed letter from your employer will be required who can state the details of your income and deductions (if any).

References:

What documents do I need to provide to support my claim? | Sandwell Council

Universal Credit: Your responsibilities – GOV.UK

Universal credit and you

Universal credit interviews

Preparing for your Universal Credit interview

Universal credit interviews | Disability Rights UK

Universal Credit interview, work coach and activities

Going to your Universal Credit interview – Citizens Advice

Universal Credit: Report a change of circumstances – GOV.UK

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