Coping with the Cut

09 Nov 2021

As the £20 per week cut to Universal Credit payments begins to have an impact on people’s lives, our Money Advice Officer explores possible ways to minimise the impact of this reduction.

Give your Universal Credit claim a once-over

Considering how complex Universal Credit can be, the DWP are still making lots of mistakes in claimants’ calculations. There are a few areas where things regularly go wrong, for example:

  • Taking Carer’s Allowance into account as income when it is not actually in payment
  • Deducting Carer’s Allowance but not awarding a carer’s element
  • Deducting amounts due to non-dependents in the household when the claimant or non-dependent are claiming Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component
  • Not including a Limited Capability for Work & Work Related Activity element when it should be included
  • Only paying for a portion of the rent if a joint tenant has moved out but is still named on the tenancy agreement

Spotting and correcting these errors could improve the situation, or even make you better off than before the £20 per week cut. You can use a benefits calculator such as Entitledto, Turn2Us or Policy in Practice, or ask a specialist such as Citizens Advice or, if you are a Warrington Housing Association resident, our Money Advice Officer.

Review your budget

Take a close look at your budget and see if there is any non-essential expenditure you can cut out. Can you do without that magazine? Can you get by with Freeview instead of using that video streaming service? You can use services such as the Government-backed Money Helper to put a budget together and the Demotivator to see the true cost of those little non-essential expenses over time.

Use less

Even in the cold and dark winter months, there are steps you can take to try and use less energy and water and reduce your bills. The Energy Saving Trust has put together some quick tips to reduce energy consumption, and United Utilities have lots of resources to help you save water. Also, make sure you get the Warm Home Discount and Winter Fuel Payment if you are entitled to them.

Sort out your payments

If you’re already juggling the bills, losing an extra £20 per week could make you drop the ball. You could check to see if there are any discounts or incentives for paying by direct debit, or move any existing direct debits to a more convenient day. If you’re paying back debts, you could look into ways of reducing the payments, for example by speaking to your creditors, considering a debt management plan or IVA, using the Breathing Space scheme or getting some professional advice on all your options.

These are just a few ideas and there are many more things you could do to try to improve the situation. It is better to take control and try to prevent falling behind. If you are a resident of Warrington Housing Association and want some more detailed advice about this issue, please contact our Money Advice Officer for a free telephone consultation.


“Thank you so much for your help in getting me set up in my new home” 

Anonymous – WHA Resident

“We’re really grateful for the excellent service we received from Warrington Housing Association’s Money Adviser and the extra money has made a big difference, helping us hire a gardener and be able to go to LifeTime more often where we enjoy singing in the choir”

Mr & Mrs Holland – WHiA Customers

“I’m so grateful to Warrington Housing Association for reaching out to me to make sure I’m claiming my full benefit entitlements”

Ms Heseltine – WHA Resident

“We couldn’t have navigated the benefits system without the fantastic help we received from Warrington Housing Association’s Money Adviser”

Andrew & Eileen – WHA Residents

“I felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I had somebody on my side”

Barbara, WHA resident

Warrington Housing Association 

Contact Us

Tel: 01925 246810
Fax: 01925 246814

Warrington Housing Association, the Gateway, 89 Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1SR