Evidence from bureaux shows that welfare changes are driving an increased demand for benefits advice across the country, with a knock-on effect on the ability of bureaux to be able to help their clients. As the welfare reform agenda gathers pace in 2013, we expect demand for benefit advice to increase further.
Citizens advice bureaux advised on 190,000 new benefit issues in 2011/12 – an increase of 39% or 50,000 additional issues compared to five years previously. Bureaux are also reporting an increase in the complexity and urgency of benefit issues, with many clients in a crisis situation. As welfare changes gather pace, we expect thousands of people to be negatively impacted and the demand for advice on benefits to continue to increase.