Citizens Advice Stockport will be given funding from the Government to help people through every step of the process to make a Universal Credit claim when it is rolled out.
Universal Credit is a new benefit that combines 6 benefits into 1, including Jobseekers Allowance and Working Tax Credits. It is currently being rolled out across the UK, and will be introduced in Stockport in November.
The new service will offer people the comprehensive and practical support they need to get their first payment on time and be ready to manage it when it arrives and will be available online, over the phone and in person.
Citizens Advice Stockport offers independent, impartial advice every day to people in Stockport and benefits is the top issue for which people come for help. The charity has already helped more than 1,300 people with problems relating to benefits since April.
A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice has helped nationally struggle to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim, the charity’s research has found. This includes providing evidence for health conditions, housing and childcare.
Steve Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice Stockport, said:
“Problems with benefits is the top issue for which people come to us for help.
“There have been challenges for people in areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out, such as delayed payments and a complicated application process.
“Our advisers will be here to help anyone who may need support making a claim, so they get paid on time. The extra funding will mean we can offer even more help to those who need it.”
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Notes to editors:
- Citizens Advice will deliver the new service in England and Wales through its network of independent local charities until April 2020.
- Universal Credit continues to be rolled out by local authority and jobcentre area.
- Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and postal markets. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice also offers Pension Wise appointments at 500 locations across England and Wales.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
- Last year we helped over 2.7 million people face to face, by phone, email or web chat. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.