Today Citizens Advice has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” for those who need help to apply for Universal Credit in Oxfordshire.

Universal Credit (UC) is the fastest growing advice area for Citizens Advice Oxfordshire. People will now be able to get support from the charity to submit their Universal Credit application to get a correct first full payment.

A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of people Citizens Advice has helped struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim. During the projects pilot phase 30% of people applying needed help to set up an email account to start making the claim.

Since its introduction in Oxfordshire in October 2017 local Citizens Advice charities in Oxfordshire have helped 3,439 people with problems relating to Universal Credit, with many relating to payment delays and wrong payments.  Nationally, Citizens Advice has helped over 230,000 people with Universal Credit.

Help will be tailored to the individual and available, face-to-face, over the phone on 0800 144 8 444 and online through web chat and advice content on This may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs.

‘Help to Claim’ support ranges from checking entitlements, setting up email accounts, working through the online form, preparing people for their identity verification interviews understanding the monthly payments.

This service comes as national Citizens Advice revealed 1 in 2 Universal Credit claimants the charity helped nationally were in rent arrears or fell behind on their mortgage payments during the wait for first payment.

Teresa Archer, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire, said:

“Today we’re launching a new service specifically for those who need help applying for Universal Credit. Our hope is that by providing in-depth support to make a claim, people will receive the full correct amount that they are entitled to faster, minimising the negative impacts the benefit is having on some of our most vulnerable residents.

Incorrect and delayed payments are placing people at risk of homelessness and causing them to rely on food banks. We often see people who are losing out on up to £328/month because of administration errors. Any of us would struggle with a regular hit like that let alone people already on a minimum income.

Please get in touch if you need support or advice with your claim either in-person, via the free phone number 0800 144 8 444 or online by web chatat

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