Benefit claimants 'unprepared'

The Government has come under fire for poorly preparing benefit claimants for the new Universal Credit, which will replace six means-tested benefits by 2017. Research by Citizens Advice showed almost half of claimants were not ready to claim online.

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CAB: Claimants lack banking facilities for new benefits

More than one in five benefit claimants do not have access to the type of banking facilities, such as direct debits and bill payments, needed for the new Universal Credit, Citizens Advice found.

According to research by the charity:

  • Some 49% said they would struggle with online forms.
  • At least 47% having no home internet.
  • Over three quarters, 83%, were not ready to budget according to a single monthly payment and would have preferred fortnightly payments helpful to cope.
  • Some 86% felt they lacked vital information.
  • 75% wanted rent to continue to be paid directly to their landlord.

CAB: 'Almost half' on benefits not ready to claim online

The Government has not done enough to properly prepare existing benefit claimants for the changes brought by the new Universal Credit, according to research by Citizens Advice (CAB).

Almost half of those on benefits do not feel ready to claim online, Citizens Advice found. Credit: PA

Almost half of those on benefits felt unready to claim online and 22% did not have the right banking facilities, the community charity discovered.

Conversations with more than 1,000 of Citizens Advice's clients in affected parts of the country exposed how little help some people were getting.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "For Universal Credit to be the revolutionary reform ministers promised, we desperately need to know how people moving onto the new benefit are going to be supported."

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