Local charity, Citizens Advice South Warwickshire, has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” for those who need help to apply for Universal Credit across South Warwickshire.
People will now be able to get support as they submit their Universal Credit application until they get their first full payment. The service will support anyone who has difficulty claiming online on the GOV UK website. This could be because a mental or physical disability, learning difficulty, lack of understanding of IT or any other exceptional circumstances.
Help will be tailored to the individual and available over the phone 0800 144 8 444 and face to face through the local Jobcentre. This may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs and bank details. Budgeting advice will also be offered to help people manage a monthly payment.
Jeremy Vanes, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice South Warwickshire said
“This week we’re launching a new service specifically for those who need help applying for Universal Credit.
“We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community every day and have developed an expertise in dealing with Universal Credit. We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed. We are here to help”
A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice has helped struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim.
The charity has already helped more than 600 people across South Warwickshire with problems relating to Universal Credit. Nationally, Citizens Advice has helped over 230,000 people with Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is a new benefit that combines 6 benefits into 1, including Jobseekers Allowance and Working Tax Credits. It is now fully rolled out across the UK. When fully implemented, around 7 million people in England and Wales will be receiving Universal Credit.
People can access the service by phoning 0800 144 8 444 or visiting the website www.citizensadvice.org.uk