Universal Credit (Application, Advice and Assistance) Bill 2017-19

This Bill sets out to reform the Universal Credit application process, paving the way for routine split payments of Universal Credit in an attempt to protect women from financial abuse.

This Bill was introduced to Parliament on Monday 27 November 2017 as a Private Member’s Bill by Dr Philippa Whitford
Dr Whitford said the policy of issuing the payment into one bank account per household meant it could keep women, and to a lesser extent men, trapped in abusive relationships.

Paying the combined benefits of a couple into a single bank account could also prevent funds reaching their intended beneficiaries, such as partners and children, she said.

This Bill was expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 11 May 2018. However, it was objected to and second reading will now take place provisionally on Friday 23 November 2018.

The UK Government allow abused partners to apply for split payments ‘in exceptional circumstances’, but Dr Whitford says few women are aware of this option.


See our series explaining the hows and whys of Universal Credit every month in Nursery World

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