Recent figures from the Department of work and Pension shows at least a thousand extra people were on universal credit in October.
About 9,969 people in Cornwall benefited from the system as of mid-October. With 8,487 beneficiaries in September, the new figure shows there were 1,482 new entries in October.
At least one in every 56 individuals in Cornwall is on the scheme – but the figure could rise with the proposed £1 billion budget support for Universal Credit.
According to Councillor Andrew Mitchell, the system will ease problems but some of its impacts are yet to be seen.
“This is still the calm before the storm.
“Cornwall Housing, we have 672 families that are claiming (Universal Credit). The rent arrears (for those families) total just under £300,000, that is roughly £440 per household.
“People on Universal Credit have a much higher risk of rent arrears.
“What we do need to do as Cornwall Council is make sure that we mitigate and make sure that everybody who is in a position to claim Universal Credit is as well off as they can be.
“We led a campaign over bedroom tax, I think we need to expand that to Universal Credit,” the councillor said in a statement.
The Councillor called on Kate Kennally, the council chief executive, to make comments on Universal Credit and ensure the council is ready for the system next year.
In her response, MS. Kenally said: “We want to make sure that we fully understand the impact here in Cornwall”.
Ms. Kenally said the council had engaged some partners to assess the impacts of the system, and the comprehensive impact assessment being worked on will be presented to the council when completed.