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Half a million Universal Credit applicants refused to pay their living expenses

More than half a million low-income people have missed out on government grants to help with rising energy bills.

Earlier this year ministers announced a series of measures to ease the pressure on people who are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.

The package, announced by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July, included a payment of £326 – the first half of a total of £650 – to millions of people claiming Universal Credit.

But 551,000 people didn’t get the payment because they were earning too much from work.

Have you been denied a living allowance? If so, email matt.mathers@independent.co.uk

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) did not dispute the figures provided by DWP Minister Vicrotia Prentis at the request of Jonathan Ashworth, the department’s shadow secretary of state.

Labor said some of the claimants may have missed out because they were paid two days of wages in the same 30-day waiting period because their wages come every four weeks.

As a result, their income was temporarily too high and they were no longer entitled to the cash there.

According to the Labor Party, another 6,600 UC applicants were denied grants because they received a performance penalty.

Jon Ashworth, the secretary for shadow jobs and pensions, said that mirror it was “amazing” that people missed out due to “the quirks of the DWP computer system or the sanctions.”

He urged ministers to ensure aid gets to the households that need it most.

A DWP spokesman said: “Cost of Living payments were designed to support low-income households with means-tested benefits.

“But inevitably, a small number of qualification dates will not be eligible for a change in income, income or other circumstances.

“All claimants have the right to appeal their claim.”

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