CAB Service Delivers £125 Million

CAB Service Delivers £125 Million

16th May 2024

CAB Service Delivers £125 Million In Universal Credit Payments Over Last 5 Years

    - ‘Help to Claim’ project has helped over 70,000 people in Scotland.

A specialist service that helps people claim Universal Credit has unlocked almost £125 million for people in Scotland in the past 5 years.

Universal Credit is a government benefit payment designed to help with living costs. It's paid monthly (or twice a month for some people in Scotland), and it can be paid to working people on a low income or people who are out of work.

Since its launch in April 2019 ‘Help to Claim’ (HTC) has assisted a total of 70,365 people to complete their application for Universal Credit (UC). The total value of Universal Credit payments the service has helped people claim £124,932,990.97.

Help to Claim is run by Citizens Advice Scotland and funded by the Department for Work & Pensions.  The project is one aspect of the CAB service. The total amount of gains unlocked by the CAB network last year was £142 million.

In one case, the Help to Claim team assisted a married couple in their 50s to submit a joint Universal Credit claim. They are small business owners however one of them is terminally ill. While the couple consider themselves IT literate they ran into some issues with their online claim. The CAB adviser spent two hours on a call with the couple to ensure the details of their online claim were correct and the couple had their joint claim approved.

The service also helped a woman in her 30s who had to decrease her hours at work following an operation. The helpline identified Universal Credit as a top up to her wages which she wasn’t aware of before engaging with the service.

The CAB adviser took the woman through the Universal Credit priority helpline and then stayed on the phone for an hour to explain to her what would happen next in the process. 

The woman felt much more at ease she because of the support from Help to Claim, she had attempted to do an online claim found it stressful and overwhelming due to her own health concerns and digital skills.

She will now get Universal Credit to top up her current wage which will then increase when she has to take time off work for surgery. This will support client from day to day living and her housing costs until she is fit enough to return to work again.

People can get more information about the service at or by calling the Help to Claim helpline on 0800 023 2581.

CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said:

“When this project was set up in 2019 the introduction of Universal Credit was in and of itself a huge reform for people, as multiple benefits were rolled into one single payment. Changes like that can create issues where people may slip through the social security safety net.

“What we did not anticipate was a once in a lifetime pandemic and then a once in a generation cost of living crisis which increased the need for the support that Universal Credit provides. 

 “Whether it was through losing their job during the pandemic or needing extra income support despite being in work because of higher energy bills and process in the shops, people have got our support to apply for Universal Credit during unprecedented times.

 “People shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about accessing the support they are entitled to. That’s how the welfare state works, we all pay in and get support when we need it.

 "I'm incredibly proud of all staff and volunteers across Scotland who have delivered this project, helping over 70,000 people access the lifeline payment and unlocking almost £125 million in the process.

 “Since the project started, advisers have helped people, case by case, every day, to claim the money they are entitled to. Our advice is impartial, confidential and free – we have never charged for advice and never will.”