Good Things Foundation believes that everyone should benefit from digital. Digital tools have the potential to make a real and positive difference to our lives.
As more of the essential services and support we need to thrive including welfare benefits go digital, the big challenge we must recognise and overcome is that 11.3 million people do not have basic digital skills like being able to complete forms, send emails and research information.
Many of these people are also facing other serious problems in their lives such
as health issues, disabilities and homelessness.
Universal Credit is accessed through an online application process and claimants are also required to input into an online journal to maintain their payments in the longer run.
One of the fundamental issues around Universal Credit is that 18% of people who are in receipt of benefits have low or no digital capability which means without the right support they will struggle to access the benefits they need to pay for the basic essentials of life like food and housing.
Good Things Foundation works with a network of Online Centres (community organisations like Heeley Development Trust and Manor and Castle Development Trust) to help people with no or basic digital skills to go online and access the online information and support they need through a website called Learn My Way.
Our website has a Universal Credit support tool which we have opened up to organisations like Citizens Advice Bureau across our city to use to help people to access Universal Credit. It has helpful checklists, links and support to go through the application process.
We would encourage people who are concerned about applying for Universal Credit to firstly make sure they get the right advice and support from organisations like Citizens Advice Bureau.
For people who have access to the internet and would like to build their digital confidence and skills and/or learn more about Universal Credit have a look at Good Things’ Learn My Way website.
Sheffield City Council have published more advice and information relating to claims for Universal Credit.