Universal Credit, a new benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, has been expanded this month in East Dunbartonshire.
It will include more groups of working age people who live in specific postcode areas served by the Kirkintilloch Jobcentre.
From yesterday (November 2), Universal Credit will expand to become available to all people in or out of work, those on low incomes, families, and those with disabilities provided they live at an address with one of the following postcodes: G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.
A spokesperson for East Dunbartonshire Council said: “This means that working age people in those areas will now claim Universal Credit instead of applying for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, working and child tax credits and Housing Benefit.”
he added: “However, anyone who needs help to pay their Council Tax still needs to apply separately to the Council to get this help. It’s important that the application is made as soon as possible, and even if a decision hasn’t yet been made on a Universal Credit claim.”
Council Leader Rhondda Geekie added: “Universal Credit will bring new challenges to those eligible to claim it, but as with all aspects of Welfare Reform introduced in recent years, we continue to work with local partners, including Citizens’ Advice Bureau and local Registered Social Landlords to do everything we can to help support those who are affected.
“A number of our residents will meet the qualifying criteria when it is rolled out in East Dunbartonshire on November 2. The Job Centre will inform customers as to whether they fall within the criteria.”
For more information about Universal Credit and how you might be affected, contact your local Jobcentre office. Kirkintilloch Jobcentre Plus can be contacted on 0345 604 3719.
Information regarding Universal Credit can also be found on the Council’s website www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk and the Department for Work and Pensions also has a Universal Credit website page https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit (link is external) and a Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.
Independent advice and information on all aspects of Welfare Reform can be obtained locally from East Dunbartonshire Citizens’ Advice Bureau by telephoning 0141 775 3220.