Universal Credit is the biggest change in the history of welfare reform. The Help to claim service is currently being delivered by around 8,000 advisers in over a thousand locations throughout England and Wales through face-to-face, phone and online support.
Help to Claim offers support for people in the early stages of their Universal Credit claim, from application through to first full payment.
It is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice and is free, independent and confidential.
After the COVID outbreak and following national guidelines on Public Health, the HTC service in Haringey is now delivered over the phone and online. We are currently unable to offer face to face appointments and these channels are important to providing an accessible service.
The lines are open from Monday until Friday, 9am -5 pm and are manned by a team of dedicated advisers, including volunteers.
Our trained advisers will be at hand, whether you're looking for answers to quick questions or step-by-step support to make your claim.
The rules are complex as Universal Credit replaces 6 benefits and this may make it difficult for you to understand what you’re entitled to, which can put people off applying.
We want all residents in Haringey to be able to better understand their rights and entitlements and we will encourage anyone to contact us.
When you contact the HTC service you will be offered a better off calculation to help you decide if UC is the best option for you.
Our team of trained advisers can assist you with:
Quick questions - answering queries as you make your own claim, or helping you understand what universal credit might mean for you
Evidence checking - making sure you are providing the correct evidence, for instance help with providing evidence such as childcare costs and helping you verify your identity
Advance Payments- advisers can help you understand how advance payments are paid back, how much UC will be deducted from your award and what other options are available to you
Claimant’s commitment- it is important that you understand what conditions you will have to satisfy while you are on UC. We will help you preparing for work coach appointments, including preparing a check list of the documents you will need to provide
Challenge decisions- we will support you in challenging a decision, including sanctions or if you have been awarded the wrong amount of UC
We understand that not everyone will have access to a computer and may not have the skills required to make a digital claim.
This can stop people at the first step of the process and can delay payments.
Here at Citizens Advice Haringey we can offer you guidance and support in making an online claim if you don’t feel comfortable with technology.
Advisers will guide you through the process, step by step and can offer support with setting up your Universal Credit account and completing your to do list.
Don’t have internet access?
Not to worry!!!
You can still make a No digital claim, you will have to make a claim over the phone. When you contact our lines an adviser will connect you with the DWP so that you can make a claim with no delays.
This will be done over a conference call where the adviser will be present while you are talking to the DWP. This will ensure that all the information you provide are correct and that you receive the right amount of UC.
Help to Claim is integrated into a more comprehensive support system both within our own core services and those provided by our local partners. Besides offering support with UC claims HTC is also a gateway into specialist advice.
Advisers can offer guidance on other enquiry areas such as housing, employment or debt and can book appointments with a specialist adviser.
This ensures that other issue don’t go unresolved and that you don’ ta have to wait too long to speak to an adviser.
In addition to this, the Crisis Navigation service provides vulnerable people in Haringey with extra help and support. If you need assistance in accessing your local food bank or are experiencing financial hardship, our volunteers will help you navigate other services that may be available to you.
HTC team also works in synergy with the Research & Campaign team to collect data and influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally.
The R&C team monitors trends and provides advisers with up to date data and statistics on emerging issues around Haringey. This could help improving the way local services are delivered, for instance the way Council taxes are collected.
We see first-hand how policy changes affect people and this gives us a greater insight into people’s experiences.
The R&C team will use that knowledge to call for improvements of local services and will continue to provide residents in Haringey with a voice to campaign for social change and social justice.
If you’re not sure what help you need just get in touch and we can work out how we can support you. We work hard to ensure that no one is left behind and that we are always on the frontline for those who need us most.