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Citizens Advice Launches New Service for People Applying for Universal Credit

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Citizens Advice Cornwall 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 –   0800 144 8444 – and online through webchat and advice content at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ This may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs.

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 1,100 people locally with problems relating to Universal Credit. Nationally, Citizens Advice has helped over 230,000 people with Universal Credit.

The Help to Claim service will be delivered through the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales.

Universal Credit is a new benefit that combines six benefits into one, 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.

Citizens Advice Cornwall Chief Executive, Gill Pipkin, said:

“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 encourage anyone who needs help with their application to get in touch with us either in-person, over the phone or over webchat at   https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim/

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

  1. Citizens Advice will deliver Help to Claim in England and Wales through its network of independent local charities from April 2019 until April 2020. Citizens Advice Scotland will also be delivering the new service in Scotland.
  2. Help is available face-to-face, over the phone 0800 144 8 444 (England) or 08000 241 220 (Wales), and online through webchat and advice content.
  3. 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.
  4. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  5. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2017-18. And we had 25 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
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