Sheffield Council deal with more than 9,000 Universal Credit issues in five months

Sheffield Council dealt with 9,438 issues with Universal Credit in five months since it was rolled out in the city last year.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 12:27 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 2:22 pm
Woman struggling with Universal Credit. Picture Shutterstock

Problems with initial claims, the housing element, calculations of income and savings and others were handled by the council, according to a monitoring report by the council.

More than 2,400 people received guidance from the council in that time frame including Ayesha, a 34-year-old non-English speaking single mother, who’s benefits were suspended without prior knowledge of the risks.

The council challenged the Job Centre and requested reinstatement of her legacy benefits on the grounds of poor administration.

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The council also said they had helped ‘where it is most needed’, in deprived communities.

Initial claim issues were the most common, making up 73.9 percent of all issues.

Universal Credit was rolled out in November 2018 across Sheffield. Eventually, it will replace all working age income-related benefits.

Unlike the benefits it replaced, payments are made monthly to help pay for rent, bills and other costs and are applied for and managed entirely online.

At a safer and stronger scrutiny committee meeting last night councillor Anne Murphy asked if there could be more research into the impact on people attending food banks and child holiday hunger as a result of Universal Credit.