Universal Credit coming to Kingston….

Universal Credit coming to Kingston….

In December, we were planning to run a kiaa network event on preparing for the local roll out of Universal Credit. However, we have postponed until the Spring as the rollout date has been put back to June 2018 due to changes announced in the budget.

Some of the things we will work on together are shared publicity materials for clients and for partner agencies (with the Advice Kingston brand) so that we can make sure there are consistent messages about issues in the local community and also so that we don’t waste time or money on  producing materials individually.

We will thinking about how to make sure that people have digital skills and capability so that they can make and manage claims online. This will involve a range of things like making sure people know where public access computers are in the borough and how to use them as well as having the confidence to enter personal data into the claim online and how to gather the right evidence to support a claim.

Another thing we will be considering is how to help people manage their money when they shift from weekly or fortnightly payments to monthly payments. Our fantastic volunteers are already working on materials to help people understand how to draft a budget and to understand fundamentals of finance such as interest rates and bank charges. They are skilled in helping people to save money by switching energy suppliers and associated topics.

A key element of our work together will be to check out how the UC implementation has gone in other local communities so that we can avoid pitfalls by seeing what worked well and also what problems arose. We hope that using this research will improve our local situation and avoid some hardship and suffering for local people.

Finally, as campaigning for change (to improve policies that affect people’s lives) is part of CAK remit, we will be setting up systems to gather and share evidence of how the policies impact on people and noting if there are areas that should change and if so, how can this be effected. We hope to be supported in this by the elected political representatives of our community.