Citizens Advice has helped more than a quarter of a million people with Universal Credit since March

Alongside the latest ONS employment and DWP data, Citizens Advice has released new figures showing it has supported more than a quarter of a million people with advice on Universal Credit since March. Seven in 10 seeking advice on benefits have never come to Citizens Advice before.

Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: 

“Our frontline advisers have helped more than 250,000 people with advice on Universal Credit since March. For many, it was the first time they’d needed support from the benefits system.  

“The government was quick to boost Universal Credit by £20 a week in recognition of how hard this pandemic would hit. But this vital support is only in place until spring, the point at which the furlough scheme is also set to end. 

“Making the uplift permanent will provide people with a long-term safety net as our economy and jobs market recover.” 

Background information

  • Since March 1 Citizens Advice has helped nearly 280,000 people with advice on Universal Credit*

  • Seven in 10 people seeking our help on benefits, had never come to Citizens Advice before

  • Throughout October, “redundancy” was the most-searched term on the Citizens Advice website

*actual number 278,949 from 1 March 2020 - 8 November 2020

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.

  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.

  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.

  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.

  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit

  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.

  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.