The Department for Work and Pensions ‘Help to Claim’ support will be delivered independently by Citizens Advice, in partnership with Citizens Advice Scotland, following a further £21.3 million investment.
Since 2019, Help to Claim has supported over half a million people, with nine in 10 people using the service rating their overall experience as good or very good. The service will now run until March 2023.
Trained advisers provide advice for anyone who requires support to make a new Universal Credit claim, including those moving from a legacy benefit, such as how to collect the relevant evidence and fill in the application. They can also help with additional advice such as preparing for a first jobcentre appointment.
This follows recent changes to the Universal Credit taper rate, which combined with our increase to work allowances means hard-working families will see an extra £1,000 a year on average, helping them keep more of what they earn.
Minister for Welfare Delivery David Rutley said:
We remain committed to providing the best possible support for all claimants, including the most vulnerable in society, in both making and maintaining their claim.
In addition to the support Jobcentre Plus staff already provide, Citizens Advice will continue to deliver high quality, independent advice and we look forward to working closely with them in the months to come.
For anyone who needs a bit of extra support to claim Universal Credit, Help to Claim is there.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
We’re glad to continue this important service as we’ve seen first hand the difference our advisers make in helping people access Universal Credit.
We’ll continue to use our frontline insights to suggest enhancements to the way benefits are delivered, further helping the people we support.
People will be able to access Help to Claim support from Citizens Advice via its website and through the free phone service by calling 0800 144 8444 for England, 0800 023 2581 for Scotland and 0800 024 1220 for Wales.
The service is free and confidential. Advisers are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.