Basingstoke and Tadley’s Citizens Advice Bureau has told The Breeze it’s concerned about the number of people being impacted by the ongoing switch to Universal Credit.
The organisation’s urging people who haven’t sorted joining the new benefit system to do so as soon as possible, through its ‘Help to Claim’ scheme.
In 2017/18 more than a quarter of all residents' visits to Citizens Advice Basingstoke and Tadley were in relation to benefits issues, which is the most common reason for people seeking advice from the charity.
Nationally, Citizens Advice has helped over 230,000 people with Universal Credit.
Chief Officer, Graham Hatcher, has told us some people they’re helping have been facing difficulties:
"For a small minority of people, universal credit can be quite difficult and challenging for them.
"If they don't get the application form completed in the first place, then it can cause financial hardship.
“This new service is available to everyone applying for Universal Credit.
“Our free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people across Basingstoke and Deane means we have developed an expertise in dealing with Universal Credit.
“We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.
“We encourage anyone who needs help with their application to get in touch with us either in-person, over the phone or online.”
You can hear more from Graham in the video below.