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Advice in Spalding for first-time Universal Credit applicants

Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (CASL) can now support first time applicants for Universal Credit through its 'Help to Claim' service, which was launched in April.

Citizens Advice-trained advisers are now working in the job centre in Spalding, so that first time claimants can be offered face-to-face appointments, in which they are helped with evidence gathering, or preparing for their first job centre interview.

The service is free, confidential, independent and impartial. Help to Claim sessions are run out of the Spalding job centre on Mondays and Fridays between 9am and 3pm.

Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire CEO Lisa Barwell (16209210)
Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire CEO Lisa Barwell (16209210)

Additionally, claimants can contact an adviser on the free national Help to Claim service number: 0800 144844. Advisers are available on the phone line from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Claimants can also talk to a trained adviser about the universal credit process via webchat, usually available from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday; however, it is not available during public holidays. The chat box will not appear if no advisers are available.

There is also some help for claimants at their respective CASL main offices. CASL CEO Lisa Barwell said: "f you wish to make your claim for UC on line and don't have access at home:CASL have a public access computer in each main office and can offer some basic support with your computer skills, empowering you to submit your own claim."

* CASL) is hoping to build on its service in Bourne. It currently operates there on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm. On Thursdays, people can drop-in in the mornings for initial checks, while the afternoons are for prior-arranged appointments only. Fridays are for pre-booked appointments only.

Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (16209096)
Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (16209096)

CASL wants to recruit volunteers so they can potentially run an extra day for drop-in appointments and are looking for committed, enthusiastic people with a drive to help and benefit their local communities. Volunteers are also needed for the Spalding and Deeping areas. Volunteer applications can be made at the CASL website www.citizensadvicesouthlincs.org.uk/volunteer

Anyone wanting further information, or to make enquiries, can contact Megan at trainingofficer@citizensadvicesouthlincs.org.uk

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