By Daniel Hunter
New jobseekers in Hammersmith will be able to make a claim for Universal Credit from today (Monday), as the rollout of the new benefit continues.
The new benefit is a fundamental reform to the welfare state, rolling 6 benefits into one and ensuring moving into work always pays.
Hammersmith Jobcentre Plus will also start trialling intensive support for new jobseekers. Claimants will have 4 face-to-face interviews with their Work Coach within the first 2 weeks of their Universal Credit claim — with the first lasting 90 minutes.
Jobseekers will also be required to sign the new Claimant Commitment. This sets out more fully what jobseekers must do in order to receive state support — providing clear information about the consequences of failing to meet requirements
Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: "Universal Credit is modern welfare that rewards people who move into work, supports those who’ve fallen on hard times and is fair to taxpayers.
"We introduced Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way in Manchester and this careful approach is working well. Most people are claiming it online, the IT is working and comprehensive support is in place. We will build on these successes as Universal Credit rolls out across the country."
People who claim Universal Credit have access to support delivered by a mix of local authorities and third sector organisations to help them budget their money, get online and manage their claim online.
Other developments to support the cultural transformation Universal Credit will bring include:
- the introduction of the Claimant Commitment in 100 jobcentres a month until it’s fully in place nationally in the spring
- 6,000 new computers in Jobcentres across the country for claimants to look and apply for jobs online, replacing the dated job points.
Universal Credit will expand to Rugby, Inverness, Harrogate, Bath and Shotton by the spring.
The first claimants to Universal Credit are single jobseekers and the majority of claims will be made online. Universal Credit claims will respond in real time to changes in people’s circumstances, including when they take a job.
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