A new team of advisors will help County Durham tenants during the digital rollout of the government’s Universal Credit system.
believe housing’s dedicated Universal Credit Team has been established to advise and support tenants through their Universal Credit claim; with the changes set to roll out in areas such as Peterlee and Seaham will roll out in October.
Universal Credit is a single payment scheme that will replace several benefits including; Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
From October all claimants under pensionable age in Peterlee and Seaham will be affected. The Bishop Auckland and Crook areas will see the changes roll out in December; and Durham and Spennymoor in early 2018. Anita Lowther, Universal Credit Team Leader, said: “We’re here to help our tenants through these changes.
“We know that many of our customers feel like they don’t have all of the information they need, or are confused by how it will work for them individually.
“We can offer one-to-one guidance and support, and to ensure that if mistakes have been made that they can be corrected by working with the Department for Work and Pensions.”
Anita and her team have already uncovered several tenants whose Universal Credit payment has been underpaid, leading to hardship. In one case a tenant had received £1,700 less than they could have claimed. By working with the Department for Work and Pensions the full amount is now being claimed and the tenant has received a backdated payment too.
“I really would urge anyone who isn’t certain of their entitlement to get in touch. The team are not here to judge, we’re just here to offer independent advice and support.” Anita added.
To contact the Universal Credit Team, Dale and Valley Homes tenants can call 0800 083 0333; Durham City Homes tenants can call 0800 068 0013; and East Durham Homes tenants can call 0800 032 0835. Tenants from all three landlords can also email firstname.lastname@example.org