Claimants to get tailored Universal Credit help

Mon, 11/02/2013 - 18:35 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released more details of the support it will make available to vulnerable claimants of Universal Credit.

Help has been developed with local councils, Jobcentre Plus and other local organisations, and will be tailored to the specific needs of each claimant.

DWP has today published a Local Support Services Framework, which sets out the principles for that support and calls for views and feedback from potential local partners, in conjunction with the Local Government Association.

Options will include direct payments to landlords for those who struggle to budget, payments split between individuals in a household, and the possibility of varying payments between monthly and fortnightly depending on needs.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said:

"Universal Credit will prepare people for the world of work by getting them to access the benefit online and budget their money in the same way people in work budget. But we know some people will need extra support to manage this, and we’re committed to ensuring that no one falls through the cracks.

"We are working with local authorities and local services to determine who will need this extra help - be it money advice services, face to face support or help to get online - and how best to deliver it."

Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the LGA, said:

"Universal Credit represents a big change to the benefits system with different demands on how claimants manage their affairs. It makes sense to recognise that people will need help adapting to that new system, and that some will need ongoing support. The pilot areas are already showing that councils will be pivotal to drawing together the public, voluntary and private sectors to help people access benefits online, manage their finances and find work.

"I am glad that the DWP and LGA have worked together to recognise that Universal Credit does not end councils’ part in the benefit system, but transforms it from a processing role to a clear focus on helping to change people’s lives."

Each individual claimant will be assessed on their needs, with tailored support provided to overcome issues relating to addiction, domestic abuse, mental health and others.

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