Claimants ‘not ready’ for universal credit

Many people will struggle to deal with the changes required of them under the new universal credit system without extra support, according to the findings of a survey carried out by the Citizens Advice charity. The survey was carried out among Citizens Advice Bureaux clients in the new benefit’s pilot areas.

Key findings

  • 49 per cent of respondents said they were not equipped to complete online application forms – 47 per cent did not have internet access at home.
  • 22 per cent said they don't have the banking services required under the new system, such as direct debits and bill payments.
  • 83 per cent said they were not ready to budget with single monthly payments. 83 per cent said they would find an adjustment period of fortnightly, rather than monthly, payments helpful.
  • 86 per cent claimed they simply did not have all the information they needed about changes.
  • 75 per cent would find it helpful to have rent continued to be paid directly to their landlord, to help them manage their finances.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, commented: 'Our research shows how risky it is to plough ahead with this huge new reform without taking the time to get the details right... Unless ministers address these glaring problems, there is a real danger that some people will be left without the support they need and unable to pay bills'.

: Press release 6 November 2013, Citizens Advice
LinksCitizens Advice press release

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