A NEW service for people needing help when claiming the new universal credit has been launched by Citizens Advice Craven.

‘Help to Claim’ will see the charity help people get their first full payment after submitting their universal credit application.

A recent survey by the charity found more than a third of those it has helped has struggled to provide the evidence needed to complete their claim.

The charity, which also covers the Harrogate district, has already helped 644 people with 1,278 problems relating to universal credit in the last year and 191 of them from Craven. .

Edward Pickering, chief executive for Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate , said:“We offer free, independent, impartial and confidential advice to people in the community every day and have developed an expertise in dealing with universal credit. We have seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed.”

Help is tailored to the individual and available, face-to-face, over the phone by calling 0800 144 8 444 and online through a specialist web chat service at citizensadvice.org.uk. This may include assistance with the online application form or help with providing evidence like childcare costs.