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Benefits and work

Welfare is the largest advice area we deliver at Citizens Advice. This gives us some of the clearest insights into the way welfare provision works and the challenges it poses. Our research draws upon our data and expertise to make the case for a system which is more responsive to the needs and circumstances of its users.

We work across 3 core areas:

  • The design and adequacy of the Universal Credit system, as millions of people migrate from legacy benefits to the new benefit. We have addressed ongoing problems such as the value of housing and childcare cost support, deductions from monthly Universal Credit payments, and the management and impact of benefit suspensions.

  • The effectiveness of conditionality and sanctions and the impact of these on Universal Credit claimants. This is in the context of increasing numbers of claimants becoming subject to conditionality requirements.

  • Delays and problems accessing disability benefits, in particular Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is even more important with proposed reforms meaning PIP will become the sole gateway to support for working age disabled people.

We have also looked at wider welfare issues, such as Council Tax Support provision and the future of the Household Support Fund.