Delay in universal credit for new claimants means families will be forced to borrow to survive until new year

More than 100,000 children live in families at risk of debt and hardship over Christmas because they are waiting for a universal credit payment, according to estimates by one of the UK’s biggest housing associations.

Claimants who signed up after 20 November will not receive any benefit until after the festive period because of the built-in wait of at least 35 days for a first monthly payment, the Peabody Trust said.

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