Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has launched a new service to help people to claim Universal Credit
Citizens Advice LeicesterShire has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” for those who need help to apply for Universal Credit in Leicester City, Blaby, Harborough, Hinckley & Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Oadby & Wigston.
Local residents can now get support to make their initial Universal Credit application all the way through to receiving their first full payment. The help we provide is tailored to the individual and may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence, such as childcare costs.
Help to Claim can be contacted over the phone (freephone 0800 144 8 444) and online via webchat or through our advice pages (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim).
Clients can also make a face-to-face appointment for support at their local Jobcentre Plus or get a referral from another organisation.
A recent survey by the Citizens Advice national organisation found more than a third of the people that the network has helped have struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim.
Since 1 April 2019, the Help to Claim service in Leicestershire has helped over 300 people to start a claim for Universal Credit. We have also helped 3,225 people with a Universal Credit enquiry since the roll out began of full-service Universal Credit in Melton and Harborough in November 2016.
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 seven million people in England and Wales will be receiving Universal Credit.
Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, said:
“We’re delighted that Help to Claim is available specifically for those who need help applying for Universal Credit.
“We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community everyday 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 online.”