Universal Credit helpline now a freephone number as rollout continues
Wednesday 6th December 2017
Following widespread criticism of the costs faced by claimants using the Universal Credit helpline, the Department of Work and Pensions finally introduced a new freephone number last week covering England, Wales and Scotland.
The new number is 0800 328 5644.
Anyone ringing the old numbers should get a message redirecting them to the new freephone number.
Universal Credit rollout continues
This is very welcome news, especially as the roll out of the Universal Credit full service continues during December, with it being extended to a further 22 job centres from today (6 December). These are:
- Bridport jobcentre
- Bude, Launceston and Liskeard
- Cowdenbeath, Cupar, Dunfermline, Kirkaldy, Leven and St Andrews
- Newbury and Reading
- Sheerness and Sittingbourne
- Stockwell and Streatham
Universal Credit is being introduced to replace income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit. These are known as the "legacy benefits".
Anyone of working age - including a parent with a disabled child - who lives in one of these areas, and who makes a new claim for one of the legacy benefits, will be asked to claim Universal Credit instead. The only exception to this are families with three or more dependent children who are exempt from Universal Credit and can claim the legacy benefits.
Initially Universal Credit will only apply to families making new claims. Existing claimants who do not have a change of circumstances will not be moved onto Universal Credit until 2019 at the earliest.
For more details about Universal Credit, including a list of all the jobcentres affected during December, visit our Universal Credit webpage.