Universal Credit: Welsh families on benefits to get an extra £100

The Welsh Government has accused UK ministers of “failing to support families” Credit: PA

Families in Wales in receipt of working age benefits such as Universal Credit will be eligible for a one off payment of £100 to help with the growing cost of living this winter.

The Welsh Government will offer a £51 million support package to address the crisis this winter, as ministers accused the UK Government of “failing to support families”.

The move follows the UK Government rejecting calls to reverse the cut of its £20 Universal Credit uplift, as the Bank of England warned inflation will rise to 5% by next spring.

The extra funding will include giving eligible households a one-off cash payment of £100 to spend on energy bills.

More than £1.1 million will go to food banks, community food partnerships and community hubs, including the Big Bocs Bwyd (BBB) project which will extend its services to a further 25 schools in the Valleys.

The BBB project, which began in Barry and operates out of old shipping containers, aims to tackle food poverty.

Welsh finance and local government minister, Rebecca Evans, said: “Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments.

“To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51 million available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.

“Where Westminster has failed to support families, the Welsh Government will step in and back our communities through this challenging period.”

What benefits qualify for the payment?

Claimants must be in receipt of any one of the following benefits between December 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022:

  • Income support

  • Income-based job seekers allowance

  • Employment and support allowance

  • Universal credit

  • Working tax credits

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The £100 cash payments will see more than £38 million made available through the Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households in receipt of working age means-tested benefits

The payments will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or credit meter.

Social justice minister Jane Hutt said: “We are very worried the cost-of-living crisis, coming so close to Christmas, will force families to turn to high-cost lenders or illegal loan sharks to help make ends meet.

“This fund will help raise awareness of the alternatives out there which can help.

“Most of the powers to address this cost-of-living crisis lie in the UK Government’s hands but we want to do everything we can to help families through this winter.”

Welsh ministers confirmed that further announcements about the Household Support Fund are expected in the coming weeks.

A UK Government spokesperson said: "We supported families and people in need with billions of additional welfare support through the pandemic and continue to do so.

"Work is the best route out of poverty and the changes we have made to the Universal Credit taper rate will see nearly two million working claimants better off by around £1,000 a year.

"The most vulnerable, including those who can’t work, can get additional benefits and help with essential costs is available through our new £500 million support fund."