Hartlepool advice experts launch new Universal Credit service

Hartlepool’s Citizens Advice bureau expects to help hundreds of people apply for Universal Credit with the launch of a dedicated new service.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 6:00 am
Citizens Advice Hartlepool manager Joe Michna

Citizens Advice Hartlepool, in Park Road, has launched its Help to Claim service, which sees staff provide tailored support to claimants face to face, over the phone and online.

Managers say the new service gives them greater scope to help more clients such as with the online application form or help providing evidence like childcare costs.

They expect to advice and help more than 850 clients to apply for their first full payment over the next 12 months.

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Citizens Advice Hartlepool manager Joe Michna said: “We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community every day and have developed an expertise in dealing with Universal Credit.

“We’ve seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.

“We encourage anyone who needs help with their application to get in touch with us either in-person, over the phone or through the national Citizens Advice website.

“Some people have had difficulties with making their own claims online and the new service is designed to help and assist new claimants with all aspects of the claims process.

“Staff will be available from Monday to Friday to offer advice, support and guidance on people’s Universal Credit entitlement and also assist them making new claims.”

People can call 0800 1448 444 or make an appointment through the booking line on (01429) 408402.

There is also helpful information at citizensadvice.org.uk.

A recent Citizens Advice survey found more than a third of people it helped struggled to provide evidence needed to complete their claims.

The Hartlepool office holds drop-in sessions when no appointment is needed on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30am-3pm.