Beyond Housing is holding a series of events to help residents deal with the introduction of Universal Credit in Redcar and Cleveland.
Universal Credit, which replaces Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, comes into force in the borough for new claimants, or those with a change of circumstance, from Wednesday 28 November.
The roadshows will be held in locations across the area to enable as many people as possible to seek advice and support:
- Wykeham Court Community Centre, Skelton on Thursday 29 November 10am – 12pm
- Birkdale Community Centre, Grangetown on Tuesday 4 December 10.30am – 12.30pm
- Steel Gala Suite, The Dunes, Redcar on Thursday 6 December 1pm – 3pm.
The team from Beyond Housing will be distributing ‘Universal Credit survival packs’ which contain helpful information for anyone who needs to make a claim, including a list of places you can access digital resources across Redcar and Cleveland.
Joanne Dunn, Head of Income Management and Employability said: “There has been a lot of information and misinformation about Universal Credit, so we felt it was important to offer our residents the chance to find out how they will be affected.
“In our experience, most people have a five-week wait between making a claim and receiving payment for Universal Credit. The payment goes directly to the individual, whose responsibility it is to meet outgoings, including rent.
“We are concerned that anyone making a new claim from 28th November is unlikely to receive a payment before the New Year, making it a tough Christmas. There is an advance available to cover essential costs including food and rent during the wait period, but this is a loan repayable over 12 months.
“We want to ensure our customers understand the position and are prepared, as it is very easy to fall behind on essential bills over the festive period and end up struggling with debt come January, and the introduction of Universal Credit will make this even more likely. At the roadshows our team will offer support on how to make a claim, give advice to help people stay out of debt as much as possible, meet their commitments and remind them that our Rent and Income team is available for advice should they find themselves struggling.”
NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF BEYOND HOUSING
CONTACT: Caroline Walker on 01325 363436