• Leanne Campbell-Syers

Citizens Advice Liverpool on hand to help with the rollout of Universal Credit

Citizens Advice Liverpool is helping people get ready for Universal Credit which rolls out across Liverpool from this September.

Universal Credit is a new benefit which helps people on a low income or not in work meet their living costs. It combines six benefits, including Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit, into a single monthly payment.

By 2022, Universal Credit is expected to affect 76,500 households across Liverpool.

To help people prepare for Universal Credit, Citizens Advice Liverpool is highlighting how it differs to previous benefits.

Three key changes the charity wants people to be aware of are:

● Universal Credit payments are made in arrears once a month, rather than every week. The date you get paid will depend on when you make your claim.

● Payments will go straight into your bank account. This means you may need to set up standing orders for expenses, like rent, if it was paid directly to your landlord under the old benefits system.

● New Universal Credit applications, and any change in your circumstances, need to be made online.

Citizens Advice Liverpool is expecting the bulk of queries on Universal Credit to focus on people who want to know how they make a claim, and if they are eligible to do so.

Last year, the government made a number of changes to Universal Credit to help people avoid financial difficulty while they wait for their first payment. This includes the removal of the seven waiting days before a claimant can apply for Universal Credit.

Heather Brent, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Liverpool, said:

“Universal Credit is the biggest-ever change to the benefit system, so it’s important people get support while they get used to it.
We can help at every stage of the process - from guiding someone through the online application form, to offering budgeting advice and helping people best manage their monthly payment.
If people have a question about Universal Credit they should get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity so unnecessary delays or complications with their claim can be avoided.”

#universalcredit '#citizensadvice #benefits #liverpool

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