JOBSEEKERS in Deeside will be the first in Wales to be able to make a claim for Universal Credit.
A government pilot initiative – designed to roll six state benefits into one – was introduced to the area yesterday.
Shotton Jobcentre Plus Office in Wepre Drive, Connah’s Quay, is now the 10th place in the UK to accept Universal Credit claims, meaning the benefit is now available in every region and nation.
The new scheme is part of a key reform to the welfare state aimed at rewarding work and forming part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
Jobseekers will also be required to sign the new Claimant Commitment. It sets out more fully what jobseekers must do to be able to receive state support – providing information about help to find work and the consequences of failing to meet the requirements.
Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said Universal Credit is a new welfare system that helps make work pay.
He added: “We are redesigning how the state supports people who want to work hard, while providing a safety net for those who fall on hard times.
“We are bringing in Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way.
“This careful approach is working well and we’re in a strong position as we continue to introduce it across the country.”
People who claim Universal Credit have access to support delivered by a mix of local authorities and third sector organisations to help them budget their money, get online support and manage their claim online.
The initiative is also running in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, along with Bath, Harrogate, Hammersmith, Inverness and Rugby.
l Universal Credit replaces income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.