Flexible Support Fund and Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to increase awareness of the (a) universal support and (b) flexible support fund.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Alongside the Universal Credit telephony and face to face support for non-digital and vulnerable claimants, The Help to Claim service is being delivered from 1 April 2019 by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland. Some aspects of this were previously delivered by Local Authorities before 31 March 2019 under the name “Universal Support”.

DWP works together with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland through the Help to Claim partnership to ensure that support is signposted for claimants and partners: this is not a fund but a support offer for claimants making their claim to Universal Credit through to receiving their first payment.

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is a discretionary fund that work coaches can use to support eligible claimants to get closer to or move into work. On 11 January 2019, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that the FSF could also be used more widely to pay for upfront childcare costs until the claimant receives their first wage. The availability of this fund is actively promoted in jobcentres and to all claimants who might benefit.

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