Help for people claiming Universal Credit

Lewes District Citizens Advice are providing a service to help people claiming Universal Credit.

Universal Credit was rolled out in this area on 26th September and Lewes District Citizens Advice are working with Lewes District Council and the Job Centres in Newhaven and Lewes to help people who need support to make their claim.

Universal credit is paid four weekly in arrears and can only be applied for online. Residents can get digital and budgeting support to help them make and maintain their claim. There is a minimum 5 week wait for the first payment to come through which, for people without savings, can put a real strain on household finances and even get them into debt. There is an added complication in that many people are not used to receiving four weeks’ money at one time and they need help to put together a budget. Both the digital and budgeting service is available at Citizens Advice offices in Lewes, Newhaven and Seaford.

A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice have helped nationally struggle to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim. This includes providing evidence for health conditions, housing and childcare.

Jackie Wilkes, Chief Officer of Lewes District Citizens Advice, said:

“For people receiving benefits the roll-out of Universal Credit has brought challenges, such as delayed payments and a complicated application process.

“Our advisers are helping people who are struggling with the system”.

For information and advice, call Citizens Advice on 03444 111444, visit one of their offices in Newhaven, Lewes or Seaford or check out their website www.lewesdistrictcab.org.uk for further details.