Another 2,544 people claimed Universal Credit (UC) in Kent in Jan 2021, meaning that nearly 16.63% of the working population aged between 16 – 64 is now unemployed in the County.
As a number 16.63% represent 158,681 individuals now claiming UC. This means 106,424 households across all Kent Councils, are claiming UC which is equivalent to 16% of all Kent households claiming UC.
The number of persons claiming UC inches ever higher across Kent, due to covid-19, it’s clear that the furlough system, introduced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has had a significant effect on slowing the rising levels of unemployment in the County.
The latest figures released today show Tonbridge JobCentrePlus has seen the highest average monthly increase across the year at 8.82% and Dover the smallest at 4.67% claiming UC.
Job losses have tended to be concentrated in specific low-wage sectors of the Kent economy, such as hospitality and tourism.
As the number of persons claiming UC rises, this means more people become entitled to Council Tax Reduction. As such, the total amount of Council Tax collected by each Kent Council will shrink. This will put pressure on services and potentially lead Councils to borrow, or draw on their reserves.
A study of attitudes by researchers at Kings College London found that nearly half of people believe those who lost their job during the pandemic were likely to have been underperforming, the survey found.
Many people who are in receipt of UC may not get all their rent paid, or mortgage payments. We strongly advise any person affected to contact their nearest Citizens Advice Bureau to get expert advice.
If you find yourself having to make a claim for UC, we would strongly advise you collect together all your financial incomings (wages slips etc) and outgoings ( council tax, water, electricity, gas etc)
If you need to claim Universal Credit you can do so ⇒ here
If you need to understand what Universal Credit is, a good explainer can be found ⇒ here
Once accepted onto UC you can apply for Council Tax Reduction by making an application online or by phone with your local council
All councils also offer a Discretionary Housing Payment to top up you rent for a max of 3 months. Again you can apply online or by phone to your local council.
If on UC you can also apply for the Low Water Tariff from your water provider. You will need to supply supporting evidence and can make an application ⇒ here
Also if you are on UC you can apply for the Low Water Tariff from the company who takes your sewage away such as Southern Water Water for example. You’ll need to complete the application form.
The Shepwayvox Team
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