Benefit claimants in Lewes, Newhaven and Eastbourne are now able to receive Universal Credit at their local Jobcentre.
The government is calling the move a “revolutionary change to the welfare system”, which came into force locally last week.
The new payment is already available in around 40 per cent of all Jobcentres and from Monday, as part of the national rollout, single claimants in Lewes and Newhaven were able to claim the benefit and get the help they need to move into work.
Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said: “It is good news that Universal Credit is coming to Lewes. “We know that Universal Credit claimants are moving into work faster and staying in work longer. Universal Credit allows greater flexibility for workers and employers and gives claimants financial security by making sure work always pays more – more hours means more money in your pocket.”
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions, said when fully rolled out, Universal Credit will make three million households better off, with a £7 billion boost to the economy every year.
Universal Credit will eventually replace six existing benefits – Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.
The government said the latest research into the impact of Universal Credit demonstrates the new system is getting people back to work faster and helps them to earn more.
Fraud and error is expected to reduce under the new scheme, with Jobcentres now having access to real-time HMRC earnings data.
Benefit payments can be calculated exactly, meaning the right level of support is in place to help people on their journey into work, including topping up claimants earnings when they are on a low income.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has also urged the 7,600 people who receive tax credits locally to renew their tax credits claim online as soon as possible ahead of the deadline in July.
People who don’t renew by the deadline will have their payments stopped. For the first time anyone can now renew online, regardless of what changes they have to make.
Visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/tax-credits by July 31.