Weekly face-to-face advice on the rollout of Universal Credit is being offered in Peterlee and Seaham thanks to one of the region’s largest social landlords.

County Durham Housing Group’s dedicated Universal Credit Team will be on hand to support tenants in Jobcentre offices on a weekly basis.

Officers will be taking appointments in Seaham Jobcentre, St Johns Square, from 9.15am to 1pm every Monday; and at Peterlee Jobcentre, St Cuthbert’s Road, from 10.15am to 2.15pm every Friday.

Universal Credit is a single payment scheme that will replace several benefits including Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

From this month (October 2017) all claimants under pensionable age in Peterlee and Seaham will be affected by the digital rollout of Universal Credit. This includes couples and families.

Appointments to discuss Universal Credit in Peterlee and Seaham can be made by calling 0800 032 0835 or by emailing universal.credit@cdhg.co.uk

Anita Lowther, Universal Credit Team Leader, said: “We’re here to help our tenants through these changes.

“Many of our customers feel like they don’t have all of the information they need, or are confused by how Universal Credit will work for them individually.

“We can offer one-to-one guidance and support, and to ensure that if mistakes have been made, they can be corrected by working with the Department for Work and Pensions.”

Anita and her team have already helped several tenants whose Universal Credit payment had been underpaid, leading to hardship. In one case a customer had received £1,700 less than they could have claimed. By working with the Department for Work and Pensions, the tenant is now in receipt of their full entitlement and they have received a backdated payment too.

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