The area's MP is teaming up with the Citizens Advice Bureau to assist residents impacted by benefit changes.

Martin Docherty-Hughes says he is "concerned" about the impact of moving Tax Credit recipients over to Universal Credit (UC) and fears many will lose a vital financial lifeline. 

The UK government has said it plans to complete the migration of Tax Credit recipients to Universal Credit by next year.

However, UK Ministers have faced criticism over the process, with analysis by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) revealing 28 per cent of claimants fail to move over to UC – meaning thousands of households across Scotland are at risk of losing out.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard for many in West Dunbartonshire and it’s important to know for anyone struggling that help is available. 

“As the area’s MP, I work closely alongside West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau and other local organisations to help residents with issues like welfare and social security entitlements. 

“It’s concerning that as the DWP accelerates the migration of Tax Credit claimants to Universal Credit, more than a quarter of people may be at risk of losing their entitlement. 

“Every person in receipt of Tax Credits should receive a letter from the DWP with details of how to claim for Universal Credit. It’s important to make a claim within the deadline stated on the letter in order to continue receiving the financial support you are entitled to. 

"If you’re experiencing difficulty with the migration process, or any other social security issues, please don't hesitate to contact my office or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

"We are here to support you and would be happy to meet any constituents face-to-face at one of our upcoming joint advice surgeries in West Dunbartonshire.” 

West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau (WDCAB) estimates that over 1,000 households across Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven could be impacted by the Tax Credits migration process.

Joe McCormack, manager at WDCAB, added: "We would encourage anyone who receives a Migration Notice from DWP and isn’t sure about what to do next, to seek help from the CAB.

"People can phone us on 0800 484 0136 or visit

"We are here for everyone, whether they are working or not. We don’t judge, we just help - and our advisers get real results.” 

A DWP spokesperson defended the move, saying the CPAG data only reflects a small subset of the overall claimants in scope to be moved to Universal Credit.

They said: "We alert people three months before they need to move to Universal Credit and follow up with reminder letters and texts.

"Evidence shows most Tax Credit claimants have been able to claim Universal Credit without the need for additional support.

“Extensions are available for those who need more time to make a claim, and support is available in local jobcentres and via a dedicated DWP helpline.

"Benefits are only ever stopped as a last resort after multiple unsuccessful attempts to engage with claimants.”

Mr Docherty-Hughes and Mr McCormack will join forces to host a series of joint advice surgeries for residents in the coming months.

The next drop-in advice surgeries are taking place on Friday, November 3 (10am-11am in Clydebank Library) and Friday, November 10 (10am-11am in Concord Community Centre, Dumbarton).