Amber Rudd the secretary of state for the department of work and pensions (DWP) has said the scrapping of start date protection under Universal Credit is “deeply alarming.”
Scottish MSPs have warned that thousands of their citizens are financially suffering as Universal Credit no longer automatically backdates claims, from the when the application was first applied for.
Previous rules meant that claims were calculated from the date of the application however, this only applies to a person who turns up in person to a job centre start their claim.
Holyrood has written to Rudd about “the retrograde step for claimants” demanding an urgent review.
Bob Doris, convener of the social security committee in Holyrood said in his letter, “As I am sure you know, there can be many reasons why someone may not be in a position to submit a completed claim on the first day of entitlement.
“It may not be possible to get to a job centre, particularly given recent closures.”
Doris added, “There is no doubt this is a backward step and this ill-thought-out change will unfairly impact the most vulnerable people in Scottish society.
“At a recent committee meeting, we heard from Glasgow City Council that each and every month 200 claimants, from Glasgow alone, will suffer financially due to the council no longer being able to protect the date of claim.
“This is deeply concerning when you consider the number of claimants that would be affected across Scotland.
“There is already a minimum wait of five weeks for those submitting a claim to receive financial support, so this new development is simply not acceptable.
“Whether the DWP were aware of the impact this change would have or not, we want to see it swiftly resolved.”