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Universal Credit in Great Yarmouth: The first time claimant

Universal credit has replaced six other benefits including job seeker's allowance. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Universal credit has replaced six other benefits including job seeker's allowance. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Since April, all new benefit claimants in the Great Yarmouth council area have been put onto the new Universal Credit system, rather than claiming lots of different types of benefits.

For one mother, who only wishes to be identified as Lisa, it was her first experience of claiming benefits - and almost eight weeks after losing her job she is yet to receive any money.

The 48-year-old said she had been “shocked and frustrated” by the experience.

She lost her job at the start of October but is yet to receive universal credit, leaving her struggling to pay the mortgage and bills.

She said she was told by the job centre in Yarmouth it would take four weeks to process her claim and then a few days to pay money.

But while her claim was being assessed she received her last pay cheque from her job, meaning her claim has been put back another month.

“I haven’t earned anything since October 10,” she said. “Every two weeks I go to the job centre to show I’m looking for work.

“I’ve never done this before and I feel naïve and ignorant I didn’t see this coming.”

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