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Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Meacher Baroness Meacher Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to identify individuals who will need support in making Universal Credit claims; and what support they will provide to all claimants.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

All claimants, including those who are vulnerable or with mental health conditions, receive continuous tailored support through their personal work coaches, and all DWP staff working with claimants complete extensive training that prepares them for their role. Specific training is provided for working with different vulnerable groups, with guidance to signpost claimants to relevant support, and these circumstances will be recorded on a claimant’s online account.

We take a number of steps to identify individuals who will need support in making a claim to Universal Credit. For example, we identify claimants either prior to or at the initial claim stage, to discuss what support mechanisms need to be in place to make a claim. This can be through discussions with their Work Coach, the Universal Credit helpline and/or through home visits.

For those individuals identified as requiring support, Universal Support provides advice and assistance to help claimants manage their Universal Credit claim, with a focus on budgeting advice and digital support. Since 2017, Universal Support has been delivered by individual local authorities, funded by grants from DWP.

From April 2019 Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland will take on the responsibility for delivering a strengthened Universal Support service, a move which will ensure a consistent and streamlined service for claimants across the country. This new partnership will ensure vulnerable claimants get the support they need to make a claim and manage their money.

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