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Preparations under way for universal credit roll out in Forest Heath

Preparations are under way for the roll out of the universal credit full service in Forest Heath.

The new benefit will go live on December 12 with authorities looking to replicate arrangements made in St Edmundsbury, where the service was introduced last October.

A report on universal credit (UC) preparations presented to Forest Heath District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee last Thursday noted that from a ‘partnership perspective, the introduction of UC in St Edmundsbury has been very successful’ and ‘recognised nationally’.

Universal Credit (5430496)
Universal Credit (5430496)

The council says personal budgeting support will continue to be delivered by Suffolk West Citizens Advice, which has advisers in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill Jobcentres, and is in talks with the charity to introduce similar arrangements in Mildenhall and Newmarket Jobcentres.

It currently pays an amount of funding received from the Government to Citizens Advice for the service but from next April the charity will be awarded these funds directly.

The report says the council, which is responsible for establishing a system to provide assisted digital support for the benefit, will ask the Government to reinstate funding to local authorities if demand for the services increases.

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