To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the date of a universal credit claim is protected in the contract Citizen's Advice have with her Department to support such claims.
27 June 2019
The Help To Claim support is not a contract arrangement with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland. They are funded by a grant agreement to deliver the Help To Claim service that runs alongside the national Jobcentre offer, and provides additional and alternative support for claimants who need help making their first claim. This personalised support helps to ensure that there is no need for a claimant to have their claim backdated to the point of contact. Instead, through either Citizens Advice or DWP, claimants are able to access immediate support to make their claim in a timely manner.
There are some specific, designated circumstances in which the Department has the ability to backdate a claim, for example if someone is taken ill. However, there is not a legal basis whereby a third party, including Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, can ‘protect the date of claim’ for Universal Credit claimants based on first contact. A Universal Credit claim begins when a completed claim is submitted.