Choice and support for Universal Credit claimants

When 8 million households are told that their benefits are being stopped and they need to apply for Universal Credit (UC) it is likely that Citizens Advice is likely to the first place many people turn for support.  Our research has shown that 9 out of 10 Citizens Advice clients as not being ready for UC.

We are setting out four simple proposals for the Government to significantly improve the implementation of Universal Credit (UC).

We believe they need to:

  • Fund local Citizens Advice Bureaux so that they can deliver support for people moving onto UC.
  • Allow people the right to decide whether they want their benefits paid more frequently than monthly, for at least a year.
  • Allow people the right to decide if they want their housing costs paid directly to their landlord, for at least a year.
  • Ensure that everyone has access to at least a basic bank account

These proposals would all be cost neutral for the Government and would reduce the need for them to invest in the first proposal as it is always more expensive to help someone once they have already got into debt.

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