The national Help to Claim service was launched in response to lobbying by national Citizens Advice using client -based evidence from us and other charities highlighting that the highest area of support our clients needed with Universal Credit was during the initial claim period - from starting an application to receiving their first payment.
The Help to Claim service addresses that need and is available by free telephone - 0800 1448444 - or online. Prior to Covid-19 clients could receive support in Jobcentres or be referred into the service by their work coaches.
Since Universal Credit’s roll out the service has helped nearly 190,000 people across England and Wales move to the new system and this experience has lead Citizens Advice nationally to urge the Government to fix the problems people are having with Universal Credit. We’ve achieved some important changes - such as making the Universal Credit phone line free and reducing the time people are waiting for their first payment – but there is so much more to do.