Universal Credit reduction warning to healthcare workers amid payback due

-Credit: (Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire)
-Credit: (Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The Department for Communities has confirmed that healthcare workers on Universal Credit will lose funds as a result of them receiving payback and a £1,505 payment.

At the end of this month, healthcare workers across Northern Ireland are set to receive a 5% pay rise with associated back pay, and will also receive a one-off payment of £1,505 in August.

While this will be a welcome boost for many across the health service, for the thousands of staff members who are in receipt of Universal Credit it could put them under further financial pressure as they will have their UC payments reduced or stopped for a period in the future of as a result of it.

Read more: Healthcare workers on Universal Credit fear pay award will be 'taken from them'

Under Universal Credit, claimants can have deductions from their payments if they earn over a certain threshold every month.

Healthcare workers have told Belfast Live that they are worried about the impact the backpay and £1,505 payment will have on their households and that they will not be able to use these in the same way as their colleagues who are not on Universal Credit.

They have said that those workers who could use the additional payments the most will receive the least amount of benefit from them as those on higher salaries will be able to keep their payments while those on benefits will not.

The Department for Communities has confirmed that this will be the case for Healthcare workers on Universal Credit, but they will be able to keep 45p for every £1 that they earn.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: “The Department has confirmed that the amount of Universal Credit a person receives will be reduced if their earnings increase, including the receipt of backpay. However, a person can earn a certain amount before their Universal Credit payments are reduced, for example they keep £0.45 of every £1.00 they earn. Further information on how Universal Credit treats earnings can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/universal-credit-if-youre-employed

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