Universal Credit - Jobcentre plus (pic by JJ Ellison under creative commons licence)

Almost 11,000 people in Cheshire East are receiving personalised Universal Credit support, latest figures show.

The 10,977 in Cheshire East are among 339,000 across the North West in receipt of the credit, which also includes 13,663 from Cheshire West and Chester.

Latest stats show nationwide more than a third of Universal Credit claimants are in work.

Universal Credit, available in every jobcentre across the UK, aims to simplify the benefit system and replaces six previous benefits with a single monthly payment.

The publication of the latest Universal Credit data comes after it was revealed the UK employment rate hit a joint-record high of 76.1 %.

Unemployment also dropped over the year to 3.8% in September, with the rate for women of 3.6% now the joint-lowest since records began.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Universal Credit is a force for good, delivering personalised support right across the North West and helping people find work.

“This week the employment rate reached a joint-record high and the jobs market continues to go from strength to strength.

“I have no doubt that this is due in part to our fantastic jobcentre staff, who work tirelessly to help people build their skills and find jobs.

“For people who want to find work, there’s a wide range of help available in jobcentres, including training courses, CV writing sessions and jobs fairs.”

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Universal Credit can check online.

People can also speak to Citizens Advice, who offer a free Help To Claim service for Universal Credit, funded by the department.

For more information about Universal Credit, visit https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/

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