A new service launched by the DWP which does not protect the date a Universal Credit claim begins has been described as ‘deeply alarming’ by Holyrood’s Social Security Committee.
The Committee has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd MP calling this a retrograde step and demanding an urgent review.
The ‘Help to Claim’ service is funded by the DWP and hosted by Citizens Advice Scotland who have confirmed to the Committee that the new service means they can no longer protect the date of claim.
Social Security Committee Convener Bob Doris MSP said:
“There is no doubt this is a backward step and this ill-thought-out change will unfairly impact the most vulnerable people in Scottish society.
“At a recent Committee meeting we heard from Glasgow City Council that each and every month, 200 claimants, from Glasgow alone, will suffer financially due to the council no longer being able to protect the date of claim. This is deeply concerning when you consider the number of claimants that would be affected across Scotland.
“There is already a minimum wait of five weeks for those submitting a claim to receive financial support so this new development is simply not acceptable.
“Whether the DWP were aware of the impact this change would have or not, we want to see it swiftly resolved.”
You can read the letter in full here.
The official report of last week’s meeting is available here.