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Citizens Advice welcomes Work and Pensions Select Committee’s call to cut wait for first Universal Credit payment

26 October 2017

Citizens Advice has this morning responded to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s report calling for the waiting time for Universal Credit to be cut from six weeks to a month.

Last month the charity published research which shows some people are pushed into financial difficulty as they wait for their first Universal Credit payment. Citizens Advice has helped people with over 100,000 Universal Credit issues since the benefit was introduced.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The minimum six week wait for your first Universal Credit leaves many people struggling to make ends meet, so any reduction to this period would be good news. We also agree with the committee that Advance Payments - while helpful - are not the full solution to the problems people are facing.

“But it’s also vital that people get their Universal Credit payments on time, and are offered the practical support they need to adapt to this benefit and manage their ongoing claim. That is why we are calling for a minimum standard of support to be published to help people access and adapt to Universal Credit.”

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.