Help to Claim
Do you need help with a Universal Credit claim?
If you are thinking about claiming Universal Credit for the first time, we can help. Our trained advisers can guide you through the process, whether you're looking for answers to quick questions or step-by-step support to make your claim.
Universal Credit is the fastest growing advice area for the Citizens Advice network in Scotland. Since the roll out began we’ve helped thousands of people with Universal Credit issues.
Universal Credit is a government benefit payment designed to help with living costs. It's paid monthly (or twice a month for some people in Scotland), and it can be paid to people on a low income or who are out of work.
Universal Credit is being introduced across the UK in stages, and replaces: Housing Benefit; income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA); Child Tax Credit; Working Tax Credit; and Income Support. There are several stages involved in claiming Universal Credit, and it should be claimed online.
How can you access the service?
Our service is available face-to-face, over the phone and online through webchat and online through on our advice pages - to allow you to access support in the way that’s right for you.
You might be sign-posted or referred to the service by the Jobcentre or other support agencies, or you can self-refer. Whatever route in, you can access the service in a way that suits you so you can get support you need.
What support can we provide?
However you access the service, we’ll start by checking your eligibility for universal credit and assessing your individual needs.
Our specialist advisors can support you to make your initial Universal Credit claim right through to when you receive your first payment. This might include help with:
- Quick questions - answering queries as you make your own claim, or helping you understand what universal credit might mean for you
- Internet access and digital assistance – providing you with internet and computer access to help you make your claim
- Support to submit your claim - setting up an email address and your universal credit account, and working through claim ‘to-dos’
- Evidence checking - making sure you are providing the correct evidence to the Jobcentre and helping you verify your identity
- Support to first payment - preparing for the practicalities of receiving one monthly payment, helping you apply for additional financial support and preparing for work coach appointments
Do you need access to longer term support and help?
Help to Claim can support
s you to make your initial Universal Credit claim. We can also support you with other issues within the Citizens Advice network or through other organisations. So please get in touch with West Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau if you need further assistance.