More than 2,000 people in Horsham are currently claiming universal credit support.
Government figures just released show that a total of 2,269 people in Horsham were among 228,000 throughout the south east currently receiving the social security payments.
Universal credit is now available in every jobcentre across the UK and is said by the Government to simplify the benefit system. It replaces six previous benefits with a single monthly payment.
The benefit provides support for people who are unemployed, in low-paid work or unable to work due to a disability or health condition.
Minister for welfare delivery Will Quince said: “Behind these figures are thousands of people getting tailored employment support to either find a job or increase their hours.
“Universal credit is a force for good – it’s simpler, more flexible and is helping people into work quicker than the old system. Crucially, it adjusts to people’s monthly earnings so there are no disincentives to working.”
As well as the 2,269 claimants in Horsham, figures show that there are currently 3,750 people in Crawley claiming universal credit and in Mid Sussex the figure is 2,177.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “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, funded by the department.
“With the benefit now available in all jobcentres, the number of people on the benefit will continue to rise naturally, and does not necessarily signify an increase in unemployment for the area.”