Thousands of people will be given free support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to see if they are eligible for Universal Credit.

The DWP’s ‘Help to Claim’ support is being extended following a £22 million investment by the department.

The additional investment will ensure that support is available to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and manage their claim until they receive their first payment.

Minister for Employment, Guy Opperman MP, said: “Help to Claim continues to assist thousands of people every year with over 800,000 people already receiving support since its introduction.

The Northern Echo:

“This additional investment will allow Citizens Advice to continue to provide this vital support following its extension for a further year.

“This high quality and independent support comes in addition to the support already provided through our network of Jobcentres, with our staff standing ready to assist those in need of support.”

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, who deliver the support, said: “As the cost of living continues to put household finances under pressure, our top priority is supporting the many people coming to us for help.

“We’re glad to continue this important support. We’ve seen first-hand the difference our advisers make in helping people access Universal Credit.

“We’ll continue to use our frontline insights and unique data to suggest enhancements to the benefits system, further helping the people we support.”

You can find out more about Help to Claim here.

People will be able to access support and advice online or over the telephone.

For those who are unable to access support via these channels, individuals will be able to contact their local Jobcentre, where staff will help to identify the right support to meet their needs.

The DWP said it remains committed to providing the best possible support for all claimants, including the most vulnerable in society, in both making and maintaining their Universal Credit claim.