On 25 May, the full Universal Credit Service is being rolled out at Lowestoft Jobcentre.
Waveney District Council is working to ensure that claimants are fully aware of the changes that have taken place.
Waveney District Council has entered into a Delivery Partnership Agreement with the DWP to assist with the transition to Universal Credit, to offer assistance with making and managing their claim online and to provide Personal Budgeting Support. To help people understand the changes, the Council has even worked with a local college to create videos explaining the process.
Universal Credit is a new, single, benefit that incorporates Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. It was introduced at Lowestoft and Beccles Jobcentres in March 2015, however this initial phase of the roll out contained several 'gateway conditions' and only applied to single people that were 'non householders' (did not own a home or have a mortgage) and would have previously applied for Jobseekers Allowance.
Universal Credit FULL Service means all gateway conditions will be removed and any person making a new claim for one of the previous benefits will instead need to make a claim for Universal Credit. To raise awareness of the new system and to help people 'make your money go further', Waveney District Council teamed up with Lowestoft College to produce a series of videos as part of an online social media campaign to support new applicants.
Among other things, the videos show how anyone who applies for Universal Credit can receive a financial advice session, providing applicants with hints, tips and techniques to help stretch every last valuable penny. To make the most of this new benefit, and accompanying financial advice, the videos also encourage applicants to discuss financial matters with their Work Coach.
Cllr Frank Mortimer, Waveney District Council’s Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said:
“Councils have a clear responsibility to ensure that residents understand changes which are being made to benefits and to help them make the most of what is available to them. Universal Credit is intended to simplify the process and we are trying to get that message across in a number of ways.”
For more information about Universal Credit in Waveney, go to: www.waveney.gov.uk/makeyourmoneygofurther
For general information on the changes go to: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit