Controversial Universal Credit scheme to roll out in Boston next week

Universal Credit is starting to roll out in Boston
Universal Credit is starting to roll out in Boston

The controversial Universal Credit scheme is set to roll out in Boston next week.

The new system will eventually see all existing benefits for those of working age replaced by one payment.

These ‘legacy’ benefits include housing benefit, income support, income-based job seekers allowance, employment support, child tax credits and working tax credits.

The scheme has proved hugely unpopular in other parts of the country, with reports of long delays in claims being processed.

Boston Borough Council says the new system, introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will roll out in the district on September 12.

Initially, the change will relate to new claims only, with anyone currently receiving one of the legacy benefits continuing to claim them directly for the time being, unless their circumstances change.

But even those who currently receive the benefits and have no change of circumstances will be moved to the single Universal Credit scheme in the future, with the Government plan to move all benefit claimants to the new system due to start in 2019.

Boston Council says as these changes come into force it is working closely with the DWP, Citizens Advice Bureau and Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) to help residents to prepare.

Councillor Aaron Spencer, Portfolio holder for Finance, said: "Universal Credit marks a significant change for our local residents. I am pleased that all organisations involved are working together to help those affected in the borough prepare for the changes.

"Whether you need information on eligibility or require any support completing your claim, there is help available through Boston Borough Council and our partners."

A Boston Borough Council statement said: “This change to the benefits system sees legacy benefit for the working age, such as housing benefit, income support, income-based job seekers allowance, income-based employment support allowance, child tax credits and working tax credits be replaced by one Universal Credit payment.

“On September 12, the change will only affect new claims only. If you wish to make a claim in relation to paying your rent or financial support you need to make a claim for Universal Credit, you can do this by contacting Boston Borough Council, who can provide assistance or alternatively you can apply online at https://-universal-credit

“Up until September 12, 2018, when Boston Borough Council changes from a Live Service area to a Full Service area, you will continue to be directed to claim one of the legacy benefits listed above.”

For further information and any updates on Universal Credit please visit www.boston.gov.uk/universal