Universal Credit Advice

Universal Credit (UC) full service for all claimant groups will launch in North Devon for anyone linked to Barnstaple or Tiverton Jobcentres on 4th July 2018.

Universal Credit is a vast overhaul of the outdated and complex benefits system of the past which too often stifled people’s potential. It is a flexible and personalised system which brings six different payments into one and helps people out of work and those in work but on a low income. It is paid monthly to reflect how many people in employment are paid. 

Claimants who require immediate help can now get an advance of up to 100% of their estimated monthly entitlement before their first payment.   Effectively, this removes the wait until their first payment altogether.  This goes beyond what has been called for in Parliament and by external commentators.

Claimants are also able to apply for an advance online, making it even easier for claimants to receive the support they need.

Please note. Just because the service switches on the 4th of July does not mean that everybody will move over to UC on this day. It will roll out over time but you will need to be aware of how this new system works.

Universal Credit ensures people are better off when they move into work, unlike the old system where benefits were stopped when people got a job. It offers unprecedented support that is personalised for individual needs, including extra support on childcare costs for working parents; support to develop skills, move into work and to progress to longer hours once a job has been secured; and, a new, more positive approach with individuals who are managing or treating a health condition. All claimants get a dedicated Work Coach, so there is a face and a name to help them manage the process and provide extra support. Universal Credit has also introduced the claimant commitment, a tailored contract that records what each individual commits to do to find work in return for the support they receive.

Below is the link to the YouTube channel which has videos that will walk you through opening and maintaining a Universal Credit account online using the Full Service. There are also videos about related digital services such as GOV.UK Verify and Money Manager. You can choose to view videos individually or run playlists of related videos that have been put together. Future content to the channel will include:

More service and digital tool updates;

Additional help about getting online through building digital capability and literacy. This means showing useful tips about going online and then showing different scenarios in which you can use them;

Spotlight videos on certain aspects of Universal Credit.

You may wish to subscribe to the channel so you get to know when the latest videos are published. If you click the notification bell and use the YouTube on your device, you’ll receive a notification the moment a new video goes live:

http://www.youtube.com/UniversalCreditinAction

Finally, if you find you are experiencing problems with Universal Credit which can't be resolved through the local Job Centre, then please contact me.  I will be happy to raise your case at a senior level in the DWP if necessary.

Peter