Universal Credit Gets Nearer….Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.
Job Centre ‘Coach’ Let’s Mask Slip.
But……the Good News is Coming!
Harlow Star (9th Febrary) brings the Tidings of Comfort and Joy:
A new single monthly payment to replace six existing types of benefit has been introduced in Harlow.
Universal Credit replaces Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit with a single payment.
“For us it’s all quite new,” said Mike King, 52, manager of Harlow Jobcentre Plus in Crown Gate.
“The 14 Jobcentre Plus branches in Essex are among the last to adopt Universal Credit which began being rolled out nationwide in March 2015.
“Some of our staff went away for three weeks training and we’re all quite excited to come back and start.
“(Nationally) it’s working really well.”
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages and currently will only apply to new claimants. Those already claiming benefits should carry on doing so until being instructed differently or if their circumstances change.
The system is designed to simplify the process of claiming state payments which the Government hope will reduce red tape while cutting down on benefit fraud and overpayments.
But critics argue that millions of working families will be worse off as a result of cuts to how much people can earn before claiming. In addition a new claimant will have to wait around six weeks to receive their first payment.
Mr King said: “As the weeks go on I think we will be taking more and more claims and the number of cases logged will build up over time. People will be pushed towards Universal Credit.”
Latest Government figures state that in total 320,000 people have claimed under the new system while for every 100 people finding a job under Job Seekers Allowance 113 have under Universal Credit.
Mr King credits increased support and the changed role of a work coach in helping claimants find jobs more easily.
“The big change is that it’s supportive all the way through once someone makes a claim and they go into work it still supports them,” he said.
“Their work coach will still support them if they have any issues.
“If they are made unemployed again their claim will remain open. There are a number of ways of getting support.
“Not all people can claim Universal Credit, but there are people who are eligible who do not get Job Seekers Allowance.
“It can be that people are receiving Universal Credit and still receiving some benefits.”
The Mirror begs to disagree.
Waiting for Universal Credit is unbelievably terrifying – here’s why
BY JULIA RAMPEN.
Universal Credit is replacing housing benefit, tax credits and other common payments. But moving onto the new benefits system can be traumatic
Georgina claimed Universal Credit after losing her job
If you get help from the Government to pay your rent, you’re claiming benefits while looking for work or you get tax credits, you’ll soon be claiming Universal Credit .
This is a new system designed to streamline benefits, and it’s being rolled out across the nation .
But unlike existing benefits, Universal Credit is paid monthly and the first payment only arrives 6 weeks after you’ve filed your application.
That means claimants who do not successfully apply for an advance loan may be forced to survive on nothing for more than a month.
After many years of paying taxes, scientist and teacher Georgina Toye lost her job and was forced to claim benefits while she hunted for a new position.
She told Mirror Money her story. If you’ve been through a similar experience, share it with us below.
Moving onto Universal Credit was terrifying. I didn’t get anything for six weeks. No one believed me. Even my close friends and family thought I was making some kind of error.
They said: “They must be giving you something. You haven’t filled in the form right.”
You tell your kids: “There is a delay with money. We’ll get it soon.” But they know you’re worried.
My rent was due twice in that period. I was lucky I had a credit card. I basically had to draw money from my credit card to pay it and feed the family. The bill was massive. I still have a lot of debt.
I found it very difficult to get through to any Universal Credit staff on the phone. When I went to complain to the Jobcentre they always said: “It’s nothing to do with us.”
I am used to being paid monthly, but six weeks without anything isn’t like being in a job. It is just crazy. It’s not preparing you for anything.
It would be better simply be to give claimants a month’s payment at the start and keep paying it monthly. Landlords want the rent monthly, after all.