Five-Week Wait For Benefits Will Increase Food Bank Use, Says TUC

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

> Another for the “Really ? Who’d have thought it ?” file.

New benefit rules forcing claimants to wait at least five weeks before they receive any cash will increase demand on food banks, says the TUC.

Under current rules new claimants have to wait an average of two weeks before they receive their first benefit payment. But with the introduction of Universal Credit new claimants will not be eligible for any financial support during the first week of their claim, and will then have to wait a further month before any benefits are paid.

The warning comes in response to a cross-party inquiry into hunger and child poverty, which found that delays in benefit payments is one of primary reasons for soaring numbers of food bank users.

In the last year the food bank charity Trussell Trust helped more than 900,000 people with three-days worth of emergency food…

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