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23 February, 2021 Open access

Number of people claiming universal credit hits six million

New DWP statistics advise that caseload has almost doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

The number of people claiming universal credit has hit six million, according to new statistics from the DWP.

In Universal Credit statistics, 29 April 2013 to 14 January 2021, the DWP advises that 4.5 million claims have been made for universal credit since 13 March 2020, and that more than half of these (2.4 million) were made in the first two months of the pandemic. As of 14 January 2021, the new statistics highlight that 6 million people were on universal credit - a 98 per cent increase since 12 March 2020.

Other changes observed over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic include - 

Universal Credit statistics, 29 April 2013 to 14 January 2021 is available from

Stop press (25 February 2021) - new statistics from the Department for Communities show that, at November 2020, there were almost 120,000 households claiming universal credit in Northern Ireland.