Almost 5,000 people in Scarborough now receiving Universal Credit

Almost 5,000 people in the local authority of Scarborough are now receiving Universal Credit.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 7:59 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 8:02 am

New data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that 4,795 in Scarborough are now on Universal Credit.

In Yorkshire and The Humber, the number receiving the benefit has increased by 3.9 per cent from 241,826 to 251,200, but the DWP say a significant proportion of people remain unaware of additional support available through the benefit, such as childcare payments and rail fare discounts.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Universal Credit is helping to support thousands of people across Yorkshire and the Humber as they look for work.

Scarborough Job Centre. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

“However many people are still not aware of additional entitlements they may be eligible for, such as help with childcare and half price travel on rail and bus services."

Universal Credit, which is available in every Job Centre across the UK, simplifies the benefit system and replaces six previous benefits with a single monthly payment.

The DWP say significant improvements have been made over the past year including increasing the amount available to claimants as an advance to tide them over until they receive their first payment and increasing the time parents and guardians have to claim back childcare costs.

Simon Betts, DWP Relationship Manager for Leeds said: “Universal Credit is helping more and more people in Yorkshire and the Humber move into work faster and become financially independent.

“It is providing valuable support for families and is helping to transform lives for the better.”

As Universal Credit is available in all UK Job Centres the number of people claiming the benefit will continue to rise naturally.

This does not necessarily mean an increase in unemployment for the area.

For more information about Universal Credit, please visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.ukHere are six Universal Credit entitlements that you may not know about:

- Up to 85 per cent of childcare costs can be reimbursed through Universal Credit. Costs can be reported online, and those in work while in receipt to Universal Credit can apply for up to £646.35 per month if you have one child and up to £1,108.40 for two or more children.

- You can get up to 50 per cent off train and bus travel if you are eligible for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Speak to your work coach to find out more.

- Not having ‘work clothes’ doesn’t have to stop you accepting a job as a Flexible Support Fund is available to help you cover the costs of starting work. This money does not have to be paid back, and can cover the costs of things like clothing and uniforms to start work, and travel to interviews. Again, speak to your work coach to find out more.

- If you are having a child you may be entitled to a one of payment. Known as the Sure Start Maternity Grant, households on Universal Credit can benefit from a one-off payment of £500. This does not have to be paid back and will not affect the benefit payment you receive.

- You could save on your Council Tax bill and in some case you may not need to pay anything at all. Depending on your circumstances and where you live you may be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction.

- The government’s Help to Save scheme offers people who receive Universal Credit, and some people entitled to Working Tax Credit, incentives to save anything from £1 up to £50 per month. After two years of saving, the government will give you an extra 50p for every £1 you have saved.