The DWP have confirmed that the claims for Universal Credit are only to be accepted from one jobcentre, Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside from April 2013. Therefore pathfinders in Wigan, Warrington will not now go ahead until July.
The DWP advises:-
“Ashton-under-Lyne will be the first jobcentre to accept claims for Universal Credit from April 29th. Wigan, Warrington and Oldham jobcentres will trial the new claimant commitment and will take claims for Universal Credit beginning in July, informed by the early testing in Ashton-under-Lyne.
This controlled approach will mean that Jobcentres intensively test the new system as it rolls out – ensuring that claimants are protected throughout….”
This has been introduced as a managed implementation but in reality it appears that there are too many problems with the new benefit system for it to be rolled out to the four north west areas, let alone nationally from October 2013…