Thousands of families tipped on to universal credit due to Covid-19

Citizens Advice Rural Cambs can help those worried about cuts to Universal Credit.

Figures show the increase in those claiming universal credit over the last five years. - Credit: PA

Thousands more residents are claiming universal credit in Huntingdonshire since the Covid pandemic – with a staggering rise to more than 10,000 people in the last five years. 

Figures from the DWP show that 10,538 people were claiming universal credit (UC) in July this year compared to 2,794 in July 2019. 

However, in July 2016 only 188 people in the district were in receipt of the claim. 

From July 2019 to July 2020 – when England was just coming out of the first national lockdown – UC claims had more than tripled from 2,794 to 10,002. 

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There was a five per cent increase from July 2020 to July this year and a huge 277 per cent rise from July 2019 to July 2021. 

Huntingdonshire was ranked 37 out of 365 local authorities for the biggest increase in claims of UC. 

During the Covid pandemic, people on low incomes found their UC was boosted by £20 a week. 

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But the top-up has now been withdrawn - amid criticism from charities and MPs. 

Universal credit is a payment to help with living costs and is usually paid monthly. 

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