More affected by Universal Credit shake-up

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Universal Credit welfare entitlement is set to expand from November 2 to cover more people in areas served by Kirkintilloch Jobcentre.

It means working age people in the postcodes covered by the scheme will now claim Universal Credit instead of applying for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, working and child tax credits and Housing Benefit.

Until now it only affected people who are single and would previously have claimed Job Seekers Allowance, but now many more may be included.

The scheme covers both employed and unemployed people, those on low incomes, families, and people with disabilities, provided they live within one of these postcodes - G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.

Anyone that needs help to pay their council tax still needs to apply separately to the council to get this help. East Dunbartonshire Council says it’s important that the application is made as soon as possible, even if a decision hasn’t yet been made on a Universal Credit claim.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Universal Credit will bring new challenges to those eligible to claim it, but as with all aspects of welfare reform introduced in recent years, we continue to work with local partners, including Citizens’ Advice Bureau and local registered social landlords to do everything we can to help support those who are affected.

“The Job Centre will inform customers as to whether they fall within the criteria.”

Information about Universal Credit can be found on the council website www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk and the Department for Work and Pensions website page https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

There is also a Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.

Independent advice and information on entitlement changes is available from East Dunbartonshire Citizens’ Advice Bureau at 0141 775 3220.