Armstrong welcomes benefits news for new pensioners

Alliance’s Communities Spokesperson, Kellie Armstrong MLA, has welcomed the Secretary of State for Work and Pension’s announcement that people who are on Universal Credit and reach State Pension Age will receive a run on, meaning no halt to benefits during the assessment period.

Kellie Armstrong said: “This welcome move will mean over 200,000 new pensioners will benefit from an average £350 from this run on. While there has been a process in operation to try to bridge the gap, it was only ever arranged on an extra statutory basis. The announcement form DWP confirms a legislative change that ensures the payment is settled.

“DWP are realising the impact the gap in benefit support is having on claimants. I have asked the Minister for Communities to raise the issue of the 5 week gap for people moving from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit. The system is supposed to support people, not force them into debt.

“Thankfully people who are on Universal Credit who reach state pension age will not have to face weeks without financial support.”