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9 out of 10 Citizens Advice clients are not ready for Universal Credit

10 July 2013

Citizens Advice surveyed over 1,700 of its clients who will start to receive Universal Credit from October and asked them whether they felt they would be able to cope with five possible problem areas – budgeting, monthly payments, banking, staying informed and internet access.  We found that Ninety-two per cent of future Universal Credit recipients said they felt unprepared for the new system in at least one area.  While 38% will need support with all of the possible problem areas.  This is just the first stage of a pilot we are carrying out in three areas (Birmingham, Ynys Mon, North Dorset) to test out how we can support people with these changes.

Because of the number of people who need support moving onto Universal Credit.  We are calling on the Government to:

  • Fund local Citizens Advice Bureaux so that they can deliver support for people moving onto UC.
  • Allow people the right to decide whether they want their benefits paid more frequently than monthly, for at least a year.
  • Allow people the right to decide if they want their housing costs paid directly to their landlord, for at least a year.
  • Ensure that everyone has access to at least a basic bank account