Locally and nationally Citizens Advice have been campaigning since July 2017 for the government to pause and fix Universal Credit (UC). This is because our evidence shows that UC can leave people unable to pay essential bills and can risk pushing them into debt and hardship  whilst they wait for their first payment. More than 7 million households will receive UC by 2022, and Citizens Advice has already helped people with over 100,000 UC issues since it was introduced. Over recent months the Government have announced a number of changes, including a £1.5 billion package of support for UC. These changes should make a significant difference to the millions of people who will be claiming UC by the time it’s fully implemented. Citizens Advice will  continue to keep a close eye on the roll-out of UC and make sure they do. Below is a list of our successful campaigns on UC

  • Remove the 7 waiting days at the start of UC claims. We estimate this  means 1.6 million families will get a their payment a week sooner and get a week's extra payment.
  • Make sure everyone moving to UC is told they can get an Advance Payment if they will be short of money at the start of the process. 
  • Pause the roll out of UC. The government slowed down the rate of new areas moving on to UC
    from over 50 Jobcentres in December to a  pause in January and only 10 Jobcentres a month from February to April 2018.
  • Give those who need it a payment within 2 weeks, which they do not need to pay back. The government announced that from April 2018, new UC claimants previously in receipt of housing benefit will  receive
    an additional two week housing payment during the wait for the first UC payment,  which they do not need to pay back . This will help 2.3 million people by giving them an average of  £233 whilst they wait for their first payment.
  • Improve people’s financial incentives to work.  The government committed to look at work incentives
    in the Autumn 2017 Budget and promised that “The taper rate will be kept under review and [we] will continue to consider the case for further changes.”
  • Ensure people have access to a minimum  standard of support to help them access and adapt to UC. 
  • Make UC less complicated.  The government announced new claims for the old version of UC - live service - will cease on 31 December.