Universal Credit comes to Gravesend
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 May 2018
From today (Wednesday, May 30) more people across Gravesend will benefit from a tailored welfare system, receiving additional support to move into and progress within work.
This comes as the Universal Credit service expands to people in and out of work, those on low incomes, families and those with disabilities.
Universal Credit is simplifying the system and revolutionising welfare by making work pay.
It also helps those who are in work to increase their hours and earnings.
Universal Credit replaces six benefits with one monthly payment and is already being claimed in Gravesend by over 650 single jobseekers.
From today, anyone in Gravesend who would previously have made a claim to income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income support, Working and Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit will instead claim Universal Credit.
People applying to Universal Credit can now receive a 100pc advance on their first payment, and the seven-day waiting period for new claimants was removed earlier this year.
Minister for employment Alok Sharma said: “Universal Credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.”
In Gravesend, single jobseekers are already receiving support from their work coach to find employment or increase their hours and earnings.
Now, all types of claimants will be able to benefit from the personalised, one-to-one support that Universal Credit offers.
Sue Rogers, local Jobcentre Plus customer service leader, said: “The new system is also more flexible, which means people can take on short-term work to develop their skills and build up their experience.
“Our staff are trained to support people throughout the claim process.
“We’d encourage anyone who needs extra help or information to come and talk to their work coach.”
Those on Universal Credit will now have 24-hour access to an online account that they can use to manage their claim, including reporting changes of circumstances, checking the details of their claim and date of their next Universal Credit payment.
As part of this, the Work Allowance - the amount someone can earn before their Universal Credit is reduced - increased by 3pc from April 2018.