To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department has taken to deal with the backlog of universal credit claims; and what support there will be in December 2016 for people waiting for such claims.
There is no backlog of Universal Credit claims. Where claims are delayed this is due to more information being required from the customer.
Claimants in financial need can apply for an advance of Universal Credit. These requests can be made over the telephone and a decision can be made by agents on that call.
All new Universal Credit claimants have the opportunity to discuss any concerns about how to budget their monthly payment with their work coach. Personal Budgeting Support is available online, by phone and face to face for those with budgeting difficulties.
During December 2016, advances of Universal Credit and Personal Budgeting Support will be available as usual.