Here’s how to get help applying for Universal Credit in Doncaster, and avoid a delay in payment
A new service just launched by Citizens Advice, called Help to Claim, will support anyone who is struggling with an application for Universal Credit.
Help will be on an individual basis and can be given face-to-face, over the phone on the number 0800 144 8 444, and online through webchat and advice content at citizensadvice.org.uk
It may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs.
A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice has helped so far, struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim.
The charity has already supported 1465 people locally with problems relating to Universal Credit.
Nationally, that figure rises to over 230,000 people.
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 and will be received by around seven million people when fully implemented.
Karen Bothamley, chief officer of Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough, said: “This week we’re launching a new service specifically for those who need help applying for Universal Credit.
“We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community every day 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 over webchat or drop into your local office.
Drop in sessions are as follows: Doncaster Jobcentre Plus - Monday Friday - 9am to 12pm, Wednesday - 10am to 12pm, Mexborough Office - Monday, Thursday - 9am to 12pm, Thorne Office -Tuesday, Wednesday - 9am to 12pm, Stainforth Office - Tuesday - 9am to 12pm.
Councillor Sean Gibbons attended the project launch in Mexborough.
He said: “ This new Universal Credit Help to Claim Project is a significant step forward in assisting claimants to gain access to the Universal Credit benefits and receive their payments without delay “
“I look forward to working with Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough and other community partners in promoting this new service to help people claim their benefit entitlement more efficiently.”