Today Citizens Advice Plymouth has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” for those who need help to apply for Universal Credit across Plymouth.

People will now be able to get support from the charity as they submit their Universal Credit application to get their first full payment.

Help will be tailored to the individual and available, face-to-face, over the phone on 0800 144 8 444 and online through webchat and advice content may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs.

A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice has helped struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim.

Universal Credit issues have been responsible for 15% of all the clients Citizens Advice Plymouth have seen at their drop in or spoken to on the phone in the past year. This figure looks set to rise in the coming year. Nationally, Citizens Advice has helped over 230,000 people with Universal Credit.

The Help to Claim service will be delivered through the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales.

Universal Credit is a new benefit that combines 6 benefits into 1, including Jobseekers Allowance and Working Tax Credits. It is now fully rolled out across the UK. When fully implemented, around 7 million people in England and Wales will be receiving Universal Credit.

Emma Symonds, Advice Services Manager at Citizens Advice Plymouth said:

“Today we’re launching a new service specifically for those who need help applying for Universal Credit who live, work and study in Plymouth.

“We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community everyday and have developed an expertise in dealing with Universal Credit. We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.

“We encourage anyone who needs help with their application to get in touch with us either in-person, over the phone or over webchat

You can contact Citizens Advice Plymouth for Universal Credit Help to Claim in the following ways:

  • via Help To Claim phone line on:
    0800 144 8 444
  • Face to face drop in service:

Tuesday and Thursdays 9.00am to 12.30pm
Wednesdays 13:00pm – 16:30pm

Citizens Advice Plymouth
3rd Floor Cobourg House
Mayflower Street