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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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News release

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Universal Credit to be rolled out across Allerdale

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Universal Credit, which is the new benefit being introduced by Central Government, comes into effect in most areas of the borough on Wednesday 9 November, and Allerdale Borough Council will be providing help and assistance to those people who are eligible to claim.

Universal Credit is part of the government’s Welfare Reform programme and replaces six existing benefits: Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

New claimants between the ages of 18 years and 60 year, six months will be required to apply for Universal Credit online at www.gov.uk/universal-credit. Those residents already in receipt of benefits will not be affected and do not need to do anything.

Universal Credit will be the first benefit to have a totally online claims process. To help claimants who are without access to the internet, the Council is providing computers at its offices in Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport and Wigton (Local Links).

Residents will need a number of documents with them to apply for their claim including National Insurance number, their bank/building society details, rent agreement, postcode, details of any savings, details of any additional income and details of any other benefits. More advice on the application process can be found on the website mentioned above.

Once an application has been submitted, claimants will be required to make an appointment at their local Jobcentre within seven days. They will be allocated a work coach who can then refer them to the Council if they are identified as someone who may need help with budgeting.

The aim of Universal Credit is to simplify the system by lumping many different benefits into one. What this means is that recipients will receive one monthly payment to cover all of their living costs. There will also be a six week period between applying for Universal Credit and receiving payment. The Council is therefore also providing advice to residents on debt and financial management, to help those who will find this difficult.

Cllr Konrad Hansen, Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, said “Universal Credit brings with it a major change in the benefit system, so we have been working closely with our partners to ensure a smooth transition. One of the Council’s priorities is to help those who are most vulnerable, and we understand that the new service has the potential to affect a number of people. Therefore, I’m pleased that the Council is able to provide the support and advice that is needed to ensure people get the financial help that they are entitled to.”

A small number of areas in Allerdale may not be affected by the changes just yet. Residents can use the following postcode checker tool to find out if they will be included: http://universalcreditinfo.net/

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ