Citizens Advice launches new service for people applying for Universal Credit
1 April 2019
Today Citizens Advice has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” for those who need help to apply for Universal Credit.
People will now be able to get support from the charity as they submit their Universal Credit application to get their first full payment.
Help will be tailored to the individual and available face-to-face, over the phone and online through webchat and advice content. This may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence such as childcare costs.
The service is funded by £39 million from the Department of Work and Pensions.
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 230,000 people with Universal Credit since its introduction. Citizens Advice offers free, independent, impartial and confidential advice, with benefits the top issue for which people come for help.
The Help to Claim service will be delivered through the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales. Citizens Advice Scotland will be delivering the new service in Scotland.
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.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Today 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 millions of people every year, and have already helped more than 230,000 people with Universal Credit. We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.
“Delivering this new service will give us even greater insight into people’s experiences. We’ll use that knowledge to continue to call for improvements so the Universal Credit system works for the people we help.”
Citizens Advice Telford & the Wrekin’s council grant to continue
Citizens Advice Telford & the Wrekin will continue to receive a grant of £232,000 from Telford & Wrekin Council for the next two financial years. More information available here.
Annual Review and Accounts available
We recently held our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 31st October 2018 at 5:30pm at Meeting Point House, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS.
Citizens Advice Telford and the Wrekin signs Armed Forces Convenant
Citizens Advice Telford and the Wrekin were delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant at the Army Reserve Centre in Lawley on Tuesday 12th March 2019.
The principles of the Armed Forces Covenant are that we will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Covenant which are:
- No member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
- In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.
More funding for Trusted Assessor work
We have recently heard that we have been granted money from the Nationwide Building Society to expand the work we have been doing with our partners Age UK and Taking Part around assistive technology. Our “trusted assessors” are trained by Telford & Wrekin Council to be able to do an assessment of someone’s needs for small household and personal adaptations costing under £1,000 such as raised toilet seats – we can then arrange with the Council for the item to be supplied and even sometimes deliver it directly. Small pieces of equipment can make a big difference when people are struggling with ill-health or disability.
Staff from Age UK and Taking Part will be on this project and be based at our Tan Bank offices. We will also be working very closely with the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS). When the SFRS do one of their Fire Safety home visits, they will be looking to help identify people for whom low-level small physical adaptations (under £1,000) can help. Age UK will work with people from 65 upwards and Taking part will be doing assessments for working-age adults. This additional service will run from 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019. To access this service, people should ring My Choice on 01952 459252 or email email@example.com
Are you aged 50 or over with a Pension based on how much has been paid
into your pot (a Defined Contribution)?
Would you like free, impartial, and confidential guidance about the options
available for your pension? Then call:
For a face-to-face appointment call our Pension Wise Delivery Centre on:
Appointments available in:- Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Oswestry, Whitchurch & Telford.
What will my appointment cover?
Your appointment will last about 45 minutes.
Your trained guidance specialist will explain:
• What you can do with your pension pot and the different options you have
• Other things you need to consider including tax and benefits
• the key points for each option, taking into account your circumstances
• Practical next steps and things to think about before you decide what to do
• How you can shop around to get the best deal and avoid pension scams
Pension Wise provides impartial guidance, not regulated financial advice.
It won’t recommend any products or tell you what to do with your money.