William Eichler 01 October 2018

Charity to provide DWP-funded Universal Credit support

Charity to provide DWP-funded Universal Credit support image

The charity Citizens Advice is to start providing Government-backed support to help Universal Credit claimants navigate the new welfare system.

Councils have been supporting UC claimants since last year through Universal Support, a Department for Work and Pensions-funded system which focuses on budgeting advice and digital support.

However, the DWP today announced that Citizens Advice in England, Scotland and Wales will provide a ‘strengthened’ Universal Support service.

The Government’s flagship welfare reform rolls six different benefit payments into one. However, it has been plagued with a number of problems including delayed payments.

Citizens Advice criticised the reform last July, arguing it was too complicated and that claimants lacked sufficient support.

The secretary of state for work and pensions, Esther McVey, today said she had ‘listened’ to the criticisms of UC and had made ‘significant changes’.

‘Since becoming Secretary of State in January, I have listened to the concerns of claimants, constituents, charities, welfare organisations and colleagues and I have made significant changes to the system, like extra support for those with mental health conditions, more support for vulnerable young people and more support for families who look after other family members’ children,’ she said.

‘I have always said we will steer a new direction and work with partners to deliver vital services, and get Universal Credit right. The state cannot, and should not work in isolation and must reach out to work with independent, trusted organisations to get the best support to vulnerable people.

‘This brand new partnership with Citizens Advice will ensure everyone, and in particular the most vulnerable claimants, get the best possible support with their claim that is consistently administered throughout the country.’

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, commented: ‘We offer independent and confidential advice to millions of people every year, and have already helped nearly 150,000 people with Universal Credit.

‘We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.

‘We welcome the opportunity to provide even more people with the help they need with Universal Credit, and deliver a consistent service through the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales.

‘Delivering this service will give us even greater insight into the Universal Credit system. We’ll continue to share our evidence with the Government to help make sure Universal Credit works for everyone.’

Derek Mitchell, CEO of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: ‘This announcement brings an opportunity to further enhance the support we provide, and we are pleased that the impact Universal Credit has on potential applicants – and on local CAB services in Scotland – has been recognised.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

Oxford City Council
Up to £161,499 + benefits
As Chief Executive, you’ll uphold our commitment to diversity and inclusion and lead us to achieve our goals. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxford City Council

Senior Strategy Adviser

Essex County Council
£39168.0 - £45664 per annum
This is a fixed term / secondment opportunity on an initial 6-month contract basis One of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Workers x2 - Family Support & Protection - Basildon

Essex County Council
£30906.0 - £42254.0 per annum + + Free Parking & Great Benefits
These positions are open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) and Experienced Social Workers. The starting salary for a NQSW is £28,330.50 per England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Workers x2 - DBIT - Essex County Council - Basildon

Essex County Council
£30906.0 - £42254.0 per annum + + Free Parking & Great Benefits
D-BIT The Divisional Based Intervention Teams (D-BIT) have been operational in Children's Social Care (CSC) since early 2012. The service has a prov England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Strategic Transport Team Leader

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,880 - £42,821 per annum
Do you want to be leading the strategic development of Telford’s transport network? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue