Below is details of help people can get in terms of applying for and navigating the new social security system, Universal Credit.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a United Kingdom social security payment that is intended to simplify working-age benefits and to incentivise paid work. It is replacing and combining six means-tested benefits: income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income Support; Housing Benefit; and Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

In 2013 the new benefit began to be rolled out gradually to Jobcentres,[3] initially focusing on new claimants with the least complex circumstances: single adults without housing costs. [4] By October 2018, more than one million households were receiving the new benefit (seven million households are eventually expected to receive it, once it has been fully rolled out).

Criticism of Universal Credit

There were problems with the early strategic leadership of the project and with the IT system on which Universal Credit relies. Implementation costs, initially forecast to be around £2 billion, later grew to over £12 billion. More than three million recipients of the six older “legacy” benefits were expected to have transferred to the new system by 2017; but under current plans, the full move will not be completed before 2023. One specific concern is that payments are made monthly, with a waiting period of at least five weeks before the first payment, which can particularly affect claimants of Housing Benefit, leading to rent arrears.

Universal Credit has faced other criticism: the architect of Tax Credits, former Labour Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has warned that a hard-to-navigate application system and cuts to the value of the new payment for some groups of claimants risk bringing a million more children into poverty and adding to demand on food banks.

In January 2019 a planned parliamentary vote on moving three million recipients of older benefits onto Universal Credit was suspended pending the result of a pilot study of 10,000 recipients, whose old benefits will be stopped and who will have the opportunity to apply for Universal Credit.

Help With Universal Credit Claims –
Tower Hamlets Residents

Resident Support Outreach Sessions

Shamim Ahmed (Resident Support Outreach Officer)

Wednesday – Poplar Job Centre

Friday – Hoxton Job Centre

Karen Begum (Resident Support Outreach Officer)

Monday – Poplar Job Centre

Tuesday – Mowlem Children’s Centre

Wednesday – Financial Health Centre (Massingham Street E1)

Friday – Meath Gardens Children’s Centre

Helal Uddin (Resident Support Outreach Officer)

Tuesday – Hoxton Job Centre

Thursday– Whitechapel Idea Store

Friday – Poplar Food Bank

Refer by email

Please click here to refer a Tower Hamlets resident to the Resident Support Outreach Team

Citizens Advice Universal Credit Support Service

Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney residents. Claimants/ clients can be referred through the Helpline 0800 144 8 444 or directed to local Job centres for support .

PLEASE NOTE – The below information is subject to change during the pilot phase. 

DaysJob CentreStart TimeEnd TimeBorough
MondaysHoxton JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney/ Tower Hamlets
Canning Town JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham
Stratford JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham
TuesdaysHackney JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney
Poplar JCP9.30am5.00pmTower Hamlets
WednesdaysHoxton JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney/ Tower Hamlets
Hackney JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney
Canning Town JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham
ThursdaysHoxton JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney/ Tower Hamlets
Hackney Office 9.30am5.00pmHackney
Poplar JCP9.30am5.00pmTower Hamlets
Stratford JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham
Canning Town JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham
FridaysHackney JCP9.30am5.00pmHackney
Poplar JCP9.30am5.00pmTower Hamlets
Stratford JCP9.30am5.00pmNewham