Brits applying for Universal Credit 'told they have to fork out £34 to get a driving licence first'

Brits applying for Universal Credit 'told they have to fork out £34 to get a driving licence first'

MP Dan Carden said he'd heard of constituents being made to buy a form of ID before they can get access to benefits, but Amber Rudd blasted him for "scaremongering".

Mr Carden, the MP for Liverpool Walton, said in a letter to Amber Rudd: "I have now been informed that job centres across Liverpool are advancing payments to my constituents to obtain provisional driving licences for the purposes of identification and then deducting the cost from their benefits."

He said people in his area were being made to pay the postage and passport photos too – just to get a form of ID.

And it could mean there's an even longer wait for benefits too, as the DVLA said there was a five week wait.

It already takes five weeks to get the first payment through on Universal Credit, meaning struggling Brits could be wrongly told they have to wait TEN weeks to get help.

Mr Carden urged the DWP Secretary to halt the rollout of Universal Credit in his area until the problems are fixed.

He said: "The Universal Credit system is not fit for purpose. The online system is riddled with faults, complications and delays.

"There can be no doubt, continuing with this roll-out will leave many of the most vulnerable families destitute by Christmas, and I am asking you to intervene as a matter of urgency."

His area is currently seeing the full roll out of Universal Credit.

But Amber Rudd blasted the letter as "scaremongering".

She said tonight: "There's no requirement for a UC claimant to have ID, but if you do purchase one we can actually reimburse you.

"Where people won't have ID our terrific work coaches use many methods to identify someone and get their claim started right away."

Many Brits have said they are finding the verification process online difficult – and hundreds of thousands of people have abandoned the online application because they couldn't finish it, recent figures revealed.

Only half of claimants said they were able to make a claim online for benefits without help.

What to do if you have problems claiming Universal Credit

IF you're experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don't cover costs, here are your options:

Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it's a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit pay out.

Alternative Payment Arrangements– If you're falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you're part of a couple.

Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the government to help with emergency household costs of up to £348 if you're single, £464 if you're part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases like your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You'll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You'll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.

Cut your Council Tax – You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax or be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments if your payments aren't enough to cover your rent.

Foodbanks – If you're really hard up and struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local foodbank who will provide you with help for free. You can find your nearest one on the Trussel Trust website.

To apply for the new flagship benefits system you do need a form of ID – this can be a passport, credit card or a driving licence.

But if Brits don't have this, there are other forms of ID that can be used – including evidence of your address, bills, a birth or marriage certificate, a National Insurance card, or council tax documents.

Claimants can also be asked security questions too to try and verify identities.

Today it was revealed that the DWP has spent £4million on adverts for Universal Credit.

A DWP spokeswoman told The Sun: "Having ID is not a requirement for those making a Universal Credit claim but it does make the process easier. If customers don’t have any ID we can reimburse the cost if they choose to apply for a passport, driving licence or long birth certificate."

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