Halt Universal Credit

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Universal Credit is causing huge social problems in society in its current form. I am an adviser for an advice centre and my clients are distraught, extremely worried about having enough money to pay their rent, and pay bills as it takes so long to get the benefit.

Many of my clients are vulnerable, disabled or have mental health issues and cannot cope with the expectations made upon them. Waiting 6 weeks minimum for a payment could result in rent arrears, eviction and being more susiptable to loan sharks. Please support my petition, I am really concerned on how this new benefit is being introduced when it causing so much unnecessary stress to individuals and society as a whole. The benefit is causing huge problems to families, children and people living in high areas of deprivation. 

All the charities I have spoken to are very concerned about Universal Credit

My concerns are as follows
1. Delays in receiving benefits could result in families facing eviction or going into debt, family breakdown. Increase in homelessness and triggering deterioration in claimants health and well being.
The waiting time to get the benefit should be shortened.
The current time and delays Increases demand on Food banks unnecessarily.
2. We have concerns about the expectation that claimants have to have access to ICT and mobile phone. Some clients do not have the capacity to learn these skills and what about the Plymouth Brethren who with their religion do not engage with technology, we are disenfranchising a group of people who need help.
3. We are also concerned about Housing payments going to claimants instead of landlords. We know there are certain claimants who cannot budget and do not have the capacity to do so, or may spend the money on alcohol and drugs, which could result in families evicted and vulnerable children put into more precarious situations.

We urges Payments of Universal Credit to be made fortnightly.

We know our clients who mainly have mental health problems will struggle with monthly payments and people with learning difficulties would struggle.

4. We are also concerned Payments are to one individual this could lead to financial abuse.
5. We are also very concerned that Mandatory Reconsideration letters have to be via the online system, which is putting up barriers for clients to seek help from advice centres, as we can no longer write letters directly to the DWP and clients may forget passwords, which in turn makes it hard for us to help.
6. We are concerned that Job Coaches may be making decisions about whether someone can work when not medically trained and have little understanding of a persons health problems. More weight should be given to evidence supplied by a client's medical team who see the client more regularly such as GP, Consultants, Psychiatrists, Counsellors reports etc.

I care what is happening to people and know Advice resources are being stretched, yet we are not having funds to support the extra demand on our services. People's lives are being seriously affected by a benefit that needs to have changes how it is operated.

Parliament needs to intervene in this issue to stop further roll out and the Government needs to listen to the problems identified. Please sign my petition.



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