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Debt worse under UC than other benefits

06 February 2019

One in two people Citizens Advice helps with Universal Credit struggle to pay for housing as they wait for payment

Among the people the charity helps with debt and Universal Credit:

  • Debt problems are more common for the people we help with Universal Credit than those claiming benefits under the previous system, with 24% of the people we helped with Universal Credit also seeking debt advice.
  • Nearly one in two (47%) have no money left after essential living costs (such as food, housing and transport) to pay creditors, or are spending more than they take in.
  • More than 4 in 5 (82%) hold priority debt such as council tax, rent arrears or mortgage payments, and energy debts.  

Citizens Advice is calling on the government to make Universal Credit far more flexible to fit around people’s lives and to make sure people have enough money to live on. It also wants Alternative Payment Arrangements to be more widely available. Read Managing Money on Universal Credit