NEW figures have revealed the number of people in East Lancashire receiving Universal Credit.

Blackburn with Darwen has the highest number of Universal Credit claimants at 9,495, followed by Burnley with 6,980.

There are 4,853 Universal Credit claimants in Hyndburn compared to 3,213 in Pendle and 2,353 in Rossendale.

Ribble Valley has the lowest number of people claiming Universal Credit in East Lancashire at 855.

Across the whole of the North West, more than 339,000 people in the North West are now receiving personalised Universal Credit support.

Earlier this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that Universal Credit will change from October 2.

The changes were announced in the budget, and will see the repayment cap lowered from the 40 per cent maximum, down to 30 per cent.

This means that some claimants will be able to keep more of their money, as the DWP will be able to deduct less from benefit payments to pay back rent arrears, advanced payments or sanctions.

Those who are currently being charged 40 per cent will receive more money from October.

Government bosses say with the benefit now available in all jobcentres, the number of people on Universal Credit will continue to rise naturally, and does not necessarily signify an increase in unemployment for the area.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Universal Credit is a force for good, delivering personalised support right across the North West and helping people find work.

“This week the employment rate reached a joint-record high and the jobs market continues to go from strength to strength. I have no doubt that this is due in part to our fantastic jobcentre staff, who work tirelessly to help people build their skills and find jobs.

“For people who want to find work, there’s a wide range of help available in jobcentres, including training courses, CV writing sessions and jobs fairs.”

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Universal Credit can check online.

People can also speak to Citizens Advice, who offer a free Help To Claim service for Universal Credit.