Sunday, 13 June 2021

Citizens Advice - Universal Credit

AFTER South Oxfordshire became the latest full service area for the introduction of universal credit on October 11, Citizens Advice has jumped into the breach by offering the help of specially trained advisers.

The change means that anyone applying for one of the six means-tested benefits (or already on one of them but reporting a change in circumstances) will have to apply for universal credit. Citizens Advice is aware that some applicants might struggle with the new system but the charity’s advisers are available to help any clients who need it.

Citizens Advice is working closely with South Oxfordshire District Council’s housing needs teams and local housing associations to support those who struggle with universal credit.

Universal credit merges six previous benefits into one: child tax credit; working tax credit; housing benefit; income support; income-based jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment and support allowance.

Citizens Advice has already issued a strong warning over plans to accelerate the introduction of universal credit, saying that introducing it in haste could have devastating consequences and will push some people into debt.

Up to 20 percent of applicants for universal credit are expected to experience serious problems.

Citizens Advice says the problems centre around application process delays rather than the new policy as a whole.

Universal credit has already been bogged down in many issues, including the long wait for first payment, the lack of support in place to help claimants adapt and the resulting strain on public services.

Citizens Advice offers confidential, impartial advice and information on many day-to-day issues.

If you need help with universal credit, take immediate action.

Call 03444 111 444 or visit

Alternatively, drop into your nearest Citizens Advice office, which is at 32 Market Place, Henley, call 03444 111 444 (phone advice) or email

The office is open from 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 6pm on Wednesdays and 10am to 1pm on Fridays.

The telephone advice line is available from 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10am to 6.30pm on Thursdays and 10am to 4pm on Fridays.

There are outreach centres at RAF Benson, Watlington and Woodcote.

For more information, visit or

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