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St Martin's Charity Supports the #5WeeksTooLong campaign

St Martin's Charity Supports the #5WeeksTooLong campaign

St Martin's Charity Supports the #5WeeksTooLong campaign

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Frontline Network has become a formal supporter of the Trussell Trust’s #5WeeksTooLong campaign, asking Government to step in and end the five weeks wait for Universal Credit.

In our Frontline Worker Survey 2018, frontline workers said the gap between claiming UC and first payment lead to an increased reliance on food banks.

Our survey found that 97% of frontline workers said the wait for a first Universal Credit payment caused problems for people they work with. A further 96% of frontline workers stated the people they support were affected by budgeting for monthly payments compared to fortnightly payments.

Overall, our Frontline Worker 2018 report expressed concern over the serious financial impacts of a delayed Universal Credit claim. We therefore recognise the need for the Government to end the five weeks wait.

The Trussell Trust believe the best way to make sure no one needs a food bank while waiting for Universal Credit is to end the five weeks wait. They state the Government has done two things to try to help people struggling with the five weeks wait:

  • “While you’re waiting for a first payment, you can apply for some or all of it to be paid early – this is then taken from your payments when they come through. But this puts people between a rock and a hard place: no money now or not enough money later?”

  • “If you’re already supported by some benefits under the old system, the government has said these will carry on being paid for two weeks. But this is only for some people from July 2020, and it still leaves a three-week gap. 1.6 million people are expected to move to Universal Credit over the next 12 months alone and will not get this support.”

You can read more about the Trussell Trust’s #5WeeksTooLong campaign on their website.

Are you presently working with someone experiencing homelessness who has applied for Universal Credit?

What impact has this had on your ability to support them?

Let us know by taking part in our Frontline Worker Survey 2019.

Complete the survey here.

We believe this survey offers a unique opportunity for you, as a frontline worker, to say what is and isn’t working when supporting people experiencing homelessness.

The survey is confidential and anonymous, and we will not be able to trace responses back to individuals or to organisations.
The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete and will be open until close of play on Wednesday 26th November 2019. 

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