New guide launched to help churches understand Universal Credit

(Photo: Church Urban Fund)

A new guide has been published to help churches understand Universal Credit and better support people they come into contact who are receiving it.

The guide has been produced by the Research and Policy Team at Church Urban Fund in the hopes of making Universal Credit easier to understand and also equip church leaders as they engage with people moving onto it. 

The guide explains the new benefits system, who it is intended for and how church leaders can support individuals who are interested in applying for it. 

Church Urban Fund said it had produced the guide in light of the huge changes to the benefit system brought on by the switch to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment replacing six other means tested benefits, including working tax credit and child tax credit. 

The Government is slowly phasing out the old system until 2023 but the transition has not been smooth, with recipients reporting delays to their benefits payments. 

"Universal Credit is the most ambitious change in the welfare system in a generation," said Church Urban Fund.

"It affects and will continue to affect many people in the parishes, projects and communities we work across in our Joint Ventures.

"Helping people navigate the new system and their entitlements within it can make a real difference."

The guide's author, Miriam Brittenden said: "Universal Credit roll-out is a significant change and challenge for many of the communities we engage with.

"We hope that this guide will equip those supporting Universal Credit claimants to respond with practical wisdom and sensitivity."

The guide is available online at at: