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World News

Universal Credit: What time does Universal Credit get paid?

Universal Credit is a part of the new system to combine six benefits into a single, monthly payment. It includes Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refers to these as legacy benefits. If you live in England or Wales and get help for your monthly rent, the added amount will be included in your Universal Credit payment.

What time is Universal Credit paid?

Universal Credit is assessed and paid in arrears in one single payment and on a monthly basis.

Your Universal Credit payments are calculated from the very first day you begin your claim.

The first payment is made seven days after the end of the first one-month assessment period, meaning a five-week wait from you initially apply.

Payments are then made on the same date every month, but there are some variations throughout the year, like on Bank Holidays.

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Universal Credit is usually paid straight into a bank, building society or credit union account.

Your payment has to be paid into an account with your name, and will need to be a current account as opposed to a savings account.

If you do not have an account, the Money Advice Service can help you to set one up and choose an account that’s right for you.

Depending on your bank, the funds are usually available sometime after midnight on the day the payment is due.

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Some banks deposit money into your account around 11.30pm, so you are able to withdraw it before midnight on the day you are paid.

Others will release the funds sometime between midnight and 6am.

If you bank with online bank Monzo, you could receive your payment at 4pm the day before you are expecting the payment.

Personal Finance website ToughNickel has rounded up payment times for the UK’s main banks.

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  • Clydesdale, Yorkshire – 11.30pm the night before, to 12.30am
  • Lloyds – Midnight to 1am
  • Bank of Scotland – midnight to 1.30am
  • Metro Bank – midnight to 2am
  • Barclays, Co-op – 1am to 2am
  • Natwest, RBS, Ulster Bank, Nationwide – 2am-3am
  • Halifax – 3am to 4am
  • HSBC, Santander – 6am – 9pm

If you do not receive your payment, you can reach out the DWP via a series of Universal Credit helplines for help.

If you think your payment is wrong, you should also call the helpline and ask for an explanation using your online account, if you have one.

Universal Credit helpines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm and are as follows:

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone: 0800 328 1344
  • Telephone (Welsh language) 0800 012 1888

Source: Read Full Article

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World News

Universal Credit: Can pensioners get Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is the most claimed benefit throughout the UK, and numbers have risen significantly since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Universal Credit is designed to help those in and out of work with living costs. The scheme has been a lifeline for those who, throughout the coronavirus crisis, have been unable to find work or have been laid off and not put on furlough.

Can pensioners get Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people, so usually, pensioners do not qualify for it.

There is only one way a pensioner can get Universal Credit and that is if their partner is under the State Pension age and is eligible for the benefit.

You can claim Universal Credit as a couple, meaning you can get money for both of you and not just the younger individual.

When you both reach State Pension age your Universal Credit claim will stop.

You can replace this with Pension Credit if you are eligible.

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How much can I get?

As a couple, the max Universal Credit you can get is £594.04 per month.

You will get this in a single monthly payment into one bank account, either one person’s bank account or a joint account you share.

If you live in Scotland you get the choice of being paid once monthly or twice monthly.

To claim Universal Credit as a couple, both you and your partner must:

Be living in England, Scotland or Wales
Live at the same address.
Be married to each other, civil partners of each other, or living together as if you were married.
Not be in full–time advanced education (except in certain circumstances such as if you are responsible for a child, or receive certain disability benefits and have a limited capacity for work).
Not have joint savings or capital over £16,000.
Be 18 or over.

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Universal Credit was brought in to replace existing benefits and to slim down the system.

Universal Credit replaces the following:

Housing Benefit.
Child Tax Credit.
Income Support.
Working Tax Credit.
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

The Department for Work and Pensions call these legacy benefits, although some people are still on these.

The benefit is paid monthly in arrears and you can apply online.

The number of Universal Credit claims made by people who are aged over 50 has more than doubled in May compared to March this year.

The claims among this age group has risen from 304,000 to nearly 660,000 in just two months, according to new analysis of provisional data from the Office of National Statistics by Rest Less.

The number of Universal Credit claims in May represent approximately six percent of over 50s who are considered economically active (either in work or actively looking for work).

Previous research from Rest Less, prior to the pandemic, highlighted that people over the age of 50 were already more likely to be in long term unemployment, compared to their younger counterparts.

Source: Read Full Article

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Business

Sturgeon’s economic catastrophe: Scottish businesses have WORST confidence in whole of UK

The latest Business Barometer, which surveyed 1,200 businesses, from the Bank of Scotland, showed that companies in Scotland felt less confident than other nations. When asked about the impact of COVID-19, more than one third of businesses said they expected to be operating at more than 50 percent capacity by the end of June.

 

However, one fifth said they do not expect to be open at all by then, while 21 percent said they thought it would take around three months to be operating at pre-lockdown levels.

The majority of businesses have also seen a fall in demand during June with just five percent reporting an increase in demand.

Across the UK, business confidence grew marginally month-on-month, rising three points to -30 percent.

The West Midlands was the least pessimistic region at -18 percent, followed jointly by Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East at -23 percent.


It comes after the Scottish Government said that it needed to borrow up to £500 million more to deal with the impact of coronavirus, as well as having greater flexibility over its capital budget.

A formal request was sent to the Treasury on Friday.

At the same time, Boris Johnson set out his plan to get the UK back on track post coronavirus which included investing more than £5bn in Infrastructure.

The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery said in its Scottish Economic Recovery Report that urgent action was needed to develop a stronger relationship between business and government on how they can recover from COVID-19.

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Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While the results suggest the economy may be starting to see some improvement, trading conditions remain difficult for most firms as the majority are still experiencing disruption to supply chains.

“Hopefully the recent Government announcement of further relaxation of restrictions and the slight easing of social distancing measures will enable more businesses to reach their capacity and resume their usual activities, which we would expect to be reflected in further improvements to optimism next month.”

Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said that the plans to rebuild the economy must be backed with “intent, collaboration and investment of a scale not seen since the last century”.

She added: “The Prime Minister set out a compelling case for investing in infrastructure and we urge both the Scottish & UK Government to work together to put shovel-ready projects on the table and deliver investment to ensure the economy is supported in the immediate, medium and long term.

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“Boosting consumer confidence by announcing VAT cuts, providing further job security by extending the furlough scheme for the hardest-hit sectors and providing guaranteed opportunities for our young people are just some of the immediate steps both Governments should collaborate on and deliver for business.

“The Scottish Government must ensure all consequential funding is allocated towards rehabilitating the economy and creating jobs.”

The Scottish Government said it would respond to Mr Higgins’ report by July 31st. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Britain facing ‘interest rates of MINUS three percent’ – major finance warning issued

Speaking to Sky News, the Harvard Professor claimed the only way to get the UK economy back on track should Britain suffer a second wave hits, would be to slash interest rates. In a major finance warning. He said: “If a couple of years from now we’re still growing really slowly, unemployment is high and we’re still having problems and interest rates are zero, I would advocate having deeply negative interest rates to try to spur consumption.

“In theory, it works a lot the same as when you have high inflation and you cut interest rates from five percent to three percent.

“I’d say certainly minus three percent would be a thing you’d like to be able to do.

“They can’t right now, it would take a lot of preparation but it wouldn’t be that hard.”

He explained: “We have to have a way certainly in this particular crisis that we’re in.

“There’s going to be restructuring, there isn’t going to be the same economy when we get to the other end of this.

“Some kind of businesses just aren’t going to be viable, other new ones will appear.

“So the problem with the current strategy which particularly with the United States just involves guaranteeing everything is that’s not sustainable.

“If we come back really quickly it won’t be a problem, but if we don’t there’s a second wave and things will continue, you have to give flexibility for the system to sort itself out.

“Negative rates do that, it’s cheap to borrow but it’s not free.”

Source: Read Full Article

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World News

Pension plan: How much State Pension will I get at 66?

Pension plans are essentially retirement plans which help you and your employer make contributions to a fund set aside for a worker upon their retirement. Pension schemes have favourable tax treatment compared to other forms of savings because they are long term savings plans. Express.co.uk has put together a guide to explain how much State Pension you should get at 66.

What is State Pension?

State Pension is a regular payment from the Government made to those who have reached State Pension age.

This payment is intended to ensure everyone has a foundation for their retirement income to support them in their old age.

State Pensions are funded from National Insurance contributions and what one receives is contingent on their own National Insurance record.

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What age can you begin claiming State Pension?

The State Pension age is the earliest age you can claim your State Pension.

Your State Pension age depends on when you were born.

The State Pension ages are undergoing radical changes to bring State Pension age in line with life expectancy.

Since April 2010, the Government has been raising the age of State Pension every few years.

The changes saw the State pension age rise to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018.

For men and women this is currently 65, but is scheduled to rise to 66 by October 2020.

The State Pension age is then scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

The age of eligibility for State Pension is due to rise to 68 between 2037 to 2039, although the specific timetable has not yet been confirmed.

There are plans to make further changes but these have yet to be revealed.

You can find out when you will qualify for the State Pension using the State Pension calculator tool here.

How much State Pension will you get?

If you are a man born before April 6, 1951, and a woman born before April 6, 1953, you are entitled to the full basic State Pension.

The full basic State Pension scheme for 2020/2021 is £134.25 per week which equates to £6,981 a year.

To qualify for the full basic State Pension you need 44 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions in order to get this full amount.

You need at least 11 years of NI contributions to qualify, but if you only have this minimum amount you will not qualify for the full amount.

However, you may also qualify for an Additional State Pension depending on your contributions.

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For those men born on or after April 6, 1951, or a woman born on or after April 6, 1953, you qualify for the new State Pension.

The new State Pension is £175.20 per week, which equates to £9,110.40 a year.

You must have at least 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount.

The only reasons the amount can be higher are if:

  • You have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension
  • You defer (delay) taking your State Pension.

How can you get a State Pension forecast?

You can currently get a State Pension forecast here from the Department of Work and Pensions.

This forecast will provide you with a breakdown of what you might receive in terms of State Pension when you retire, based upon the number of qualifying years on your National Insurance record.

You can also get a statement by calling 0345 3000 168 or writing to The Pension Service 9, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LU.

How can you boost your State Pension?

The new State Pension is based upon your National Insurance record when you reach State Pension age.

You can increase what you will receive when you reach this age by adding to your National Insurance record before reaching this age.

This means by continuing to work and paying into the National Insurance scheme before you meet State Pension age will help you increase your State Pension entitlement.

You can also apply for National Insurance credits which can help fill gaps in your records or paying voluntary contributions.

Deferring your State Pension can also help you increase your State Pension payments when you do retire.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Wideblue steps production of handheld breathing monitor in Covid fight

The battery-powered N-Tidal, developed by the Glasgow-based firm with its client Cambridge Respiratory Innovations, offers a far easier and accurate way to measure CO2 levels in exhaled breath. This is a key indicator of lung health and replaceable breath and mouth tubes enable multiple use and avoid cross contamination.

The miniaturised technology is also set to transform the lives of people with acute breathing difficulties such as asthma and chronically congested lungs(COPD), enabling home or GP monitoring and sparing them hours of discomfort connected to a machine in hospital. 

Clinical trials related to these were already underway but then stopped because of the pandemic. 

“Clinicians then realised the potential for N-Tidal to be used with Covid-19 patients, either for allocating ventilators to the most needy or monitoring their recovery.

Our adaptation of the devices is going well,” says Wideblue’s managing director Russell Overend.

The Covid trials are expected to start next month followed by resumption of the other tests. 

Wideblue, which has a team of 18 scientists and turns over £1.6m, specialises in optical and medical projects, taking them from concept through to volume manufacture.

“With anticipated demand in-house production of N-Tidal units have been increased,” adds Overend. A US version of N-Tidal is planned following interest there.  

www.wide-blue.com, www.camresp.com

Source: Read Full Article

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World News

Council tax: Do we have to pay council tax? What happens if you don’t pay?

Council tax serves as fuel for local Government in the UK, which depends on contributions from residents to run a selection of services. Payments may come as a nuisance for millions of people every month, however, with some forking out £100 or more to live in one area. The amount may persuade some people to hold off on forking out the cash, but refusing to do so can come with dire consequences.

Do we have to pay council tax?

Council tax is a compulsory requirement for people living in the UK – but not for everyone.

Currently, the Government asks any adult over the age of 18 who either owns or rents a property to pay up.

Councils base a full bill on at least two adults living in a home and hold spouses or partners equally responsible for payments.

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Some people will qualify for a 25 percent discount, but only if they live alone or are the only adult in their home.

Non-adults not living with any other adults will receive a 50 percent discount.

The only adults able to secure a 100 percent discount are students, whose status exempts them.

The Government has laid out the people who don’t count as adults on their website.

They state the following people are not adults in the eyes of councils:

  • Children under 18
  • People on some apprentice schemes
  • 18 and 19-year-olds in full-time education
  • Full-time college and university students
  • Young people under 25 who get funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • Student nurses
  • Foreign language assistants registered with the British Council
  • People with a severe mental impairment
  • Live-in carers who look after someone who is not their partner, spouse, or child under 18
  • Diplomats

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What happens if you don’t pay council tax?

Council tax is known as a “priority bill” one of the most vital types which can incur severe penalties for failure to comply.

Councils will often provide some leniency with payments at first, however, as no evidence of one within two weeks of the agreed date warrants only a reminder.

People who make the payment within seven days of the reminder can continue as usual, but after then is when people may land in deep water.

Failure to comply with the reminder one week after it arrives may result in a council requesting the full amount for the rest of the year.

Depending on the date, council, and situation, this could cost some people more than £1,200.

If people also fail to do this within another week, the council may accelerate proceedings and take people to court.

The outcome of a court visit will depend on whether people live in England, Scotland or Wales, but could result in a visit from bailiffs or money taken straight from a paycheque.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Bank of England’s £100bn bond boost ‘is risk to savers’

Governor Andrew Bailey said the drastic measures were necessary despite signs that the economic damage from the lockdown had been less severe than forecast. He said: “As partial lifting of restrictions takes place, we do see signs of some activity returning. We don’t want to get too carried away with it – we are still living in very unusual times.”

Tory peer Baroness Altmann, a former pensions minister said: “This is a massive expansion of the bondbuying programme.

“The Bank of England is bailing out the Government which is bailing out the economy. By doing it in this indirect manner there is a big risk to pension funds.

“Inflating the financial markets will put savers and pension funds at risk.”

Yesterday’s decision by the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee raised the amount of money pumped into the economy through the bond buying programme during the pandemic to £300billion.

The committee voted eight to one to expand the programme to £745billion, following the extra £200billion announced in March.

The Bank held interest rates at an all-time low of 0.1 percent and confirmed there had been no discussion at the meeting of it below zero – effectively paying banks to borrow – despite speculation about the possibility.

Mr Bailey said negative rates were being assessed, adding the Bank “won’t rule anything in or out”.

The drastic measures follow official figures earlier this week showing the economy plunged by a record 20.4 percent during April.

But the Bank said the fall in Gross Domestic Product between April and June may not be as bad as it set out in gloomy May forecasts, thanks partly to a recovery in consumer spending and the housing market.

Bank chiefs expect the fall in UK GDP over the first six months of this year to be around 20 per cent, rather than the 27 percent forecast in a report in May.

The Bank said the “recovery in demand and output was occurring sooner and materially faster” than expected last month.

Source: Read Full Article

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World News

Triple lock pension: What is a triple lock? Pension increase at risk due to COVID-19

The State Pension is a weekly Government payment to those of State Pension age. The amount a person is eligible to receive in their State Pension will depend on how long they’ve been contributing to their pension in the form of National Insurance contributions. The triple lock guarantee ensures a minimum increase in the State Pension every year.

What is the triple lock?

The triple lock pension was introduced by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition Government in 2011.

The triple lock was introduced to protect the State Pension from inflation.

Under the triple lock guarantee, the State Pension will rise by a minimum of either the rate of inflation, average earnings growth or at least 2.5 percent – whichever is higher.

Prior to the introduction of the triple lock pension, the State Pension raise was influenced by the retail prices index (RPI).

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Before the 2015 general election, the Conservatives pledged to keep the triple lock until 2020.

But when Theresa May was PM, it was widely reported some Conservatives believed the pledge should be based on a double lock rather than a triple lock.

This would have meant pension increases were only based on rises in earnings and inflation, and the 2.5 percent minimum would have been scrapped.

For the 2019 Conservative manifesto, the party pledged to keep the triple lock in place.

Is the triple lock pension at risk due to COVID-19?

According to the Financial Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to break the 2019 Conservative manifesto pledge over the triple lock.

Mr Sunak is said to have been warned the value of the State Pension could sharply rise unless he breaks the pledge next year.

The reports come as the Treasury stated in official forecasts that wages could rise dramatically in 2021 after this year’s dip in wages due to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme recovers.

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April 2021 pension payments are not expected to be affected by the dip in wages this year, due to the minimum 2.5 percent annual increase.

However, as wages recover after the end of the scheme, it could have a dramatic impact on the State Pension for the following year.

Any changes to the triple lock pension have not yet been announced by Mr Sunak.

Number 10 and the Treasury said in a joint statement to the FT: “Announcements on tax and pensions policy are for Budgets.

“The government is committed to supporting pensioners.”

Number 10 also played down claims the triple lock will be axed at a Westminster briefing.

A Number 10 source said: “These are unique and challenging economic circumstances and we cannot hide from that.

“As you know, decisions on tax and pension policy are set out at Budget by the Chancellor but there are no plans to abolish the triple lock and we will always stand by pensioners.”

Asked if it could be suspended for a year or two, the source said: “I’m not going to speculate on what inflation might be in future.”

Source: Read Full Article

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World News

Pension: What happens to your pension when you die?

State Pension is a Government benefit for retired Britons, although advantages depends on age of the pensioner and contribution record. Anyone who has worked a minimum number of qualifying years in the UK can claim the retirement scheme. But what happens to your pension when you die?

What happens to your pension when you die?

Normally the value of your pension pot will be paid at your date of death.

This amount can be paid as a tax-free cash lump sum provided you are under age 75 when you die.

The value of the pension pot may instead be used to buy an income which is payable tax free if you are under age 75 when you die.

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If the person who died was getting a State Pension, you should tell the Pension Service that he or she has died so that payments stop.

Call the Pension Service helpline on 0800 731 0469.

Pensions Advisory Service explained: “Depending on when you reached or will reach your State Pension age, when you die, some of your State Pension entitlements may pass to your widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

“If you die, your widowed husband, wife or civil partner may also be able to claim bereavement benefits.

“A new State Pension system was introduced as of April 6, 2016.

“The benefits payable on your death will depend on when you or your partner reached or will reach their State Pension age.

“There will be transitional arrangements, so that in some circumstances, people who have made national insurance contributions or have credits under the current system will still be able to inherit state pension from a late spouse or partner.”

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Can you claim your partner’s State Pension?

Depending on the amount of National Insurance contributions your partner made when you reached the State Pension age, you may be entitled to extra pension payments.

If you’re dealing with someone’s affairs after their death, you should check their paperwork to see if they had any personal or workplace pension schemes.

If they did, contact the pension provider to find out how much they had and what to do next.

If you haven’t reached State Pension age, you might also be eligible to claim Bereavement benefits.

Bereavement benefits are for people whose husband, wife or civil partner has died. Which benefits and how much you qualify for will depend on:

  • your age
  • whether you have dependent children
  • whether the person who died paid enough National Insurance Contributions during their working lives

How much is Bereavement Support Payment?

Bereavement Support Payment is paid at either a higher rate or standard rate:

Higher rate

Paid to pregnant women or if you’re entitled to Child Benefit. You’ll get:

  • a monthly payment of £350 for 18 months following the death
  • a one-off payment of £3,500 during the first month

Standard rate

For everyone else. You’ll get:

  • a monthly payment of £100 for 18 months
  • a one-off payment of £2,500 during the first month

Source: Read Full Article