Martin Lewis issues big Universal Credit warning – how to get help NOW

MARTIN Lewis has warned households claiming Universal Credit could be left with less cash because of the cost of living crisis.

The money saving expert said low income families might find they are worse off on the Good Morning Britain show earlier this week.

Benefit rates went up by 3.1% last month, which means Universal Credit claimants will get £10 more a month or more than £15 extra if you're they're part of a couple.

But rates haven't kept in line with soaring inflation, which has now hit 7%.

When it goes up, prices on everyday items and essentials and bills also rise.

That means while benefit rates may have gone up, many will find that it's still not enough to cover the cost of rising prices.

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Low income households may feel like they are worse off, Martin said.

It also comes at a point when more people on legacy benefits will be switched to Universal Credit as the government has resumed its managed migration policy.

It involves moving households who still claim benefits that are being phased out on to Universal Credit.

While 1.4million could be better off on Universal Credit, around 900,000 are thought to be worse off.

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"We have a situation where Universal Credit itself hasn't been uprated by the current level of inflation, because it was the older level of inflation when it was lower," Martin said.

"And you're actually going to move people onto a new system where they can earn substantially less amid a cost of living crisis – we are again throwing some of the poorest in society under the bus.

"The timing is wrong. Do the Government not understand the timing?"

How can I get extra help?

Universal Credit claimants might not know about all the extra help they can get.

Universal Credit claimants have a five week wait from their claim being accepted to actually getting the cash.

But if you don't have enough to live on during this period you can ask for an advance payment to get some money straight away.

While another kind of advance payment can help you with budgeting, and you could get a maximum of £812.

Many broadband providers offer cheaper packages for households on benefits including Universal Credit.

You could save up to £144 a year by switching to one of these social tariffs.

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Lower income families can apply to the WarerSure scheme to save hundreds of pounds on their bill each year.

Plus, you can get a Discretionary Housing Payments provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs.

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