Support for the people of Medway

The effects of the COVID19 pandemic has caused many millions of families to be plunged into hardship. In an attempt to help these people, the government has introduced several measures, such as the Job Retention Scheme and temporary Universal Credit uplift, to try and ease the pressures caused by the pandemic.

In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, people who claimed Universal Credit were given an extra £1,040 a year in cash support from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). This worked out as the equivalent of £20 a week

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in the Spring Budget that this uplift would be extended until the end of October 2021.

However, this didn’t apply to those on legacy benefits causing tension and upset from claimants who felt they deserved support after being equally hit by rising household costs

The government announced in the Spring Budget that the uplift would end in October 2021. The retraction of this aid, in conjunction with job losses and other changes to people’s personal circumstances, has caused many to find themselves in a lot of debt.

The effects of the uplift ending

New claimants to universal credit have suffered around a 60% decrease in their income compared to their pre-pandemic income. Here at Citizens Advice, we have helped over 300,000 people with their universal credit issues

Many of these people have found themselves with a ‘negative budget’ as a result of financial hardship caused by the retraction of help from the government. A negative budget is when your necessary outgoings exceed your income. For these people, they simply do not have enough money to make ends meet week-on-week.

How Citizens Advice Medway can help

The process of claiming Universal Credit is unlike any other benefit. Most of the claims are made and managed online, with telephone support for those lacking digital literacy, and this is where Citizens Advice Medway can help.

Now that lockdown restrictions have ended, we’re facing an increased demand for support with the health assessment element of universal credit. Both the forms relate to the fit-to-work element of universal credit and the assessment process itself can be very daunting, especially for someone with health conditions.

Here at Citizens Advice Medway, we can offer help to anyone who needs guidance navigating through the process of making a new claim for Universal Credit. Whether you are looking for an account or receiving your first full payment, we have you covered.

Our team of trained advisors can help you with

  • Setting up your Universal Credit
  • Completing your ‘to-do’ list for your new claim
  • Verifying your identity 
  • Ensuring you’re providing the correct evidence to the Job Centre

If you wish to get in touch with us, please call us on:  01634 383 760

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