Hundreds of teenagers in the East Riding seek support through Universal Credit

New data has revealed 483 young people aged between 16 to 19 claimed Universal Credit in November. Photo: PA Images
New data has revealed 483 young people aged between 16 to 19 claimed Universal Credit in November. Photo: PA Images

Hundreds of teenagers in the East Riding have sought support through Universal Credit, according to the latest figures.

Anti-poverty charities are urging the Government to do more to help vulnerable young people “burdened” by low incomes and rising housing costs.

New data from the Department for Work and Pensions reveals that 483 young people aged between 16 to 19 claimed the benefit in November.

That’s an 85% increase on the year before, when 261 teens received Universal Credit.

The flagship welfare system will be fully implemented by the end of 2023, the Government said, after being plagued by delays and allegations that it is plunging vulnerable people further into debt.

Roughly one in every 29 teenagers between 16 and 19 in the East Riding were on Universal Credit last year, according to the latest population estimates. Of those who received the benefit, 80% were unemployed.

Iain Porter, social security policy and partnerships manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Our social security system should be an anchor, providing the stability and support that young people need.

“The decision to end the benefits freeze is welcome, but it isn’t enough to reverse the hardship already experienced by young people on low incomes.

“To avoid pushing people of all ages further into poverty, ministers must commit to ending the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.”

A DWP spokesman said the increase in 16 to 19 year olds claiming Universal Credit is “in line with expectations”.

“Universal Credit is now rolled out to every jobcentre, so the number of people receiving it will increase naturally. Universal Credit rolled out to some areas earlier than others, so there are regional differences in the rate of uptake,” they said.