Universal Credit – putting the customer first

By Rachael Robinson, Universal Credit Manager

We have joined forces with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to encourage landlords to support their customers as they transition to the full service of Universal Credit.

While a lot of the responsibility in both applying for Universal Credit and managing their finances lies with the customers themselves, we’ve been investigating how we can make the process as simple as possible for our customers. We’re providing them with as much useful information as we possibly can ahead of the changes being made in their areas.

To help, the DWP has developed a suite of tools exclusively for landlords including a list of top tips, useful videos and a new landlords section on the Understanding Universal Credit website. These resources are invaluable for anyone supporting customers on this journey and I would encourage all landlords to take a look at.

Having worked on Universal Credit at Riverside for quite a while and with more than 4,000 of our customers claiming the benefit, I know how important the links are with the local DWP partnership team. Working together is key in order to support tenants through the process. My top tip for other landlords is to build strong links with your partnership manager – by working together we can resolve complex matters and ensure the customer is always first.

The portal is a fantastic resource but we realise it can’t resolve all issues on its own. In Riverside, we have invested a lot of time and effort into making sure our staff are aware of the latest news on Universal Credit, what their role is in supporting tenants and what help we can provide to our customers.

But our role doesn’t stop there, our dedicated income maximisation team offers money advice, employment and training support and affordable warmth guidance – ensuring that customers are aware of all the support available and can access all the tools they need to help get them into employment. Our team has the customers’ needs at the heart of everything they do, ensuring they always put the customer first.