An information day will be held in Newington to help people find out more about how they are affected by the roll out of Universal Credits.
The new benefit payment was fully rolled out in Thanet in July. It means people claiming income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credits, working tax credits and housing benefit now get one monthly payment instead of separate payments.
Claimants have to manage their Universal Credits online and are expected to report changes, find support and contact their work coach through an online account.
One of the biggest changes for those on UC will be that they need to pay their rent directly to their landlord.
And for those aged between 18-21 there will be no payment of housing costs unless they meet certain exemptions.
- Is responsible for a child or a qualifying young person;
- Was a care leaver before reaching the age of 18;
- Receives the care component of disability living allowance at the middle or highest rate or the daily living component of personal independence payments
- Is subject to active multi-agency management
- Is in temporary accommodation provided by a local authority pursuant to their homelessness duties
- Has been subject to, or threatened with, domestic violence by their partner, former partner, or a family member.
Homelessness charities, including Porchlight and Centrepoint, have warned the exemptions are not exhaustive enough and will make it difficult for under 21s to find a safe home.
The Universal Credit open event will be held by Newington Big Local, Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice Thanet, Thanet District Council and Together Canterbury on Friday, October 13 at Newington Community Centre in Princess Margaret Avenue from 2pm until 5pm.
There will be also be budgeting and debt advice, CV writing, free courses and more. The event is open to everyone in Thanet.