Scots on Universal Credit may miss out vital cost-of-living payments due to "flawed" DWP eligibility rules, according to a SNP MP.

Thousands of low-income households who had been expecting to receive £650 from the Government could have to go without because they get paid four-weekly rather than per calendar month.

It comes as money was expected to be paid to millions of low-income households across the UK from this week.

Now SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, for West Dunbartonshire, has hit-out at the UK Government after his constituent was informed that they are ineligible for the payment despite being in receipt of Universal Credit.

Glasgow Times: SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has hit outSNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has hit out

He has written to work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, expressing concern that people in employment on low incomes who usually get Universal Credit are being unfairly denied.

The letter calls on the UK Government to urgently review strict eligibility rules for the cost-of-living payment, which the MP describes as ‘grossly unfair’ for people who are paid by their employer on a weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly basis.

Those on Universal Credit who received a ‘nil award’ during the assessment period of April 26, 2022 to May 25, 2022 as a result of their wage payment schedules are ineligible for the first £326 instalment of the cost-of-living payment due to be paid in July.

According to the House of Commons Library, 37% of the UK’s 2.3 million working Universal Credit claimants are on non-monthly pay cycles; suggesting that up to 800,000 low-income individuals could miss out on the additional cost-of-living payment.

Commenting, Docherty-Hughes said: "It's worrying that hundreds of thousands of low-income households who'd expected to receive this cost-of-living payment could miss out because of the Westminster Government's flawed eligibility criteria.

"Families in West Dunbartonshire and across the country are struggling due to the UK's cost-of-living crisis.

“They need support now and it's devastating for my constituent and others who are ordinarily in receipt of Universal Credit to be unfairly excluded from this much-needed payment.

"In-work poverty is at its highest level for decades, and now the UK Government appears to be penalising people who are paid four-weekly rather than monthly. I'd urge the work and pensions secretary to act quickly to resolve this before thousands more families are forced needlessly into foodbanks."

A DWP spokesperson said: “The vast majority of existing recipients of Universal Credit will qualify for a cost-of-living payment but inevitably a small number will be ineligible on the qualification dates because of a change of income, earnings or other circumstance.

“Earnings patterns can vary substantially and it would be impossible to choose qualifying dates that work for every single person on Universal Credit, however autumn’s second qualifying date reduces the risk that those with non-monthly pay periods that were ineligible for the first payment, miss out altogether.

“For any individuals that are not eligible for this support, or for families that need additional support, the Government is providing an additional £500m to help vulnerable households and from October 2022, domestic electricity customers will receive a £400 discount on their bills.”