Lincolnshire: 18% rise in Universal Credit claims

The number of Universal Credit claims continues to rise in Lincolnshire during the COVID-19 pandemic, with last month’s figures showing a more than 18% increase on the previous month.

The latest job centre figures have been released by the Department for Work and Pensions and show how between April 9 and May 14 a further 9,018 people signed on across the county bringing the total to 57,825.

Last month’s figures had shown a rise of 14,351 since March 12 (prior to lockdown) meaning the total increase since before the coronavirus pandemic is now 23,387 – just over 40% of total claimants.

Universal Credit covers six major benefits and the figures cover those both in and out of work, including self-employed and those who have been furloughed under the government’s schemes.

The biggest rise was in South Kesteven, which saw an additional 1,776 people sign on to the benefits package. It was followed by East Lindsey District Council with an extra 1,629 people and Lincoln with an additional 1,408.

West Lindsey on the other hand, saw the smallest rise with just 844 extra people claiming.

Below is all the changes for last month’s figures - starting with local authority, the figure on May 14, the figure on April 9, caseload change and % change: • South Kesteven District Council - 10,380 8,604 1,776 20.6%

• East Lindsey District Council - 12,286 10,657 1,629 15.3%

• Lincoln - 9,888 8,480 1,408 16.6%

• Boston - 6,032 4,852 1,180 24.3%

• North Kesteven District Council - 6,467 5,368 1,099 20.5%

• South Holland District Council - 6,602 5,520 1,082 19.6%

West Lindsey District Council - 6,170 5,326 844 15.8%

• Total - 57,825 48,807 9,018 18.5%

Since the pandemic began, more than £6.5 billion has been put into the welfare system by the government, and ministers have introduced a number of measures including a higher starting allowance, rental help and the requirement to come into the job centre being paused.