Stirling Council prepares to support new Universal Credit claimants



Stirling CouncilStirling Council is to launch a range of measures to assist benefit claimants affected by the introduction of Universal Credit.

A small number of new, single claimants in Stirling will start to receive the new benefit from 25th May.

For people looking for work or on a low income this combines other benefits including Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credits. It is normally claimed online and paid directly into a claimant’s bank account on a monthly basis.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the initial rollout in the Stirling area is likely to involve 624 claimants.

The DWP and Stirling Council have been working together to prepare for implementation, identifying where additional support might be needed and working to overcome these issues.

Stirling Council’s director of communities and partnerships, Stacey Burlet, said: “The rollout of Universal Credit in Stirling is adopting a ‘test and learn’ approach, working with small numbers to more easily address any problems that arise.

“We’re now working with the DWP to produce a Delivery Partnership Agreement to make sure the right services are provided for claimants who need them.

“Based on previous experience this would include looking at how to help claimants who don’t have digital access to make and manage their claims, or providing assistance when it comes to budgeting.

“We are also able to consider alternative payment arrangements where they might be necessary – such as paying rent directly to landlords rather than making the claimant responsible for this, or making smaller payments more frequently.

“This will only affect a small number of benefits claimants but we fully recognise how important it is to get it right for everyone.”

The Delivery Partnership Agreement, which is initially set to run for one year, will be presented to the 11th June meeting of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee for approval.



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