Universal Credit is here #AreYouReady?
Universal Credit is here #AreYouReady?
Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age. It can be paid to people both in and out of work. It’s being gradually introduced in stages across the country. It’s a single monthly payment in arrears, that will replace some of the benefits and tax credits you may be receiving now. If you currently get help with paying your rent with Housing Benefit this will change and you will receive help towards your rent included in your monthly payment of Universal Credit. If you are not already receiving help with your rent and you are about to move onto Universal Credit it’s important to check and see if you can get help with your rent (Rent costs are called Housing Costs under Universal Credit). You will be responsible for paying your rent direct to Your Housing Group. Universal Credit will replace:
Child Tax Credit
Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance
Working Tax Credit
Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
Should you experience any difficulty in making a Universal Credit claim online or if you want to find out more information about Universal Credit before you make a claim you can call into your Local Jobcentre or you can contact Your Housing Group’s Money Advice Team on 0345 345 0272. You can check whether Universal Credit is available in your area by checking your postcode on universalcreditinfo.net
If you normally get your benefits paid weekly or fortnightly moving on to Universal Credit and being paid monthly can be a big adjustment and you may find it difficult to budget to pay for your rent and other bills. Our Money Advice Team are able to help and prepare you to move on to Universal Credit. They can also help check to see if you may be entitled to other benefits as well as Universal Credit.
You can call our Money Advice Team on 0345 345 0272. The sooner you contact us and speak to us the more we can help. If you are aged 18-21 years then you might not be able to claim Universal Credit and get help with your housing costs. To check if you may be able to claim help towards your rent see our Factsheet: Universal Credit 18-21 year olds: Helping with Housing Costs or contact the Money Advice Team for further advice and help. If you are a mix age pensionable age couple then you may currently decide if you want to claim Universal Credit or Pension Credit. Most couples find that they are better off claiming Pension Credit. If you are unsure what to claim contact the Money Advice Team.
How do I make a claim for Universal Credit?
Claims for Universal Credit are normally made and managed online. How much benefit you will receive will depend on your individual circumstances, so for example if you have children or you are a carer you may receive extra benefit for your circumstances. Universal Credit is means tested so other money and benefits you have coming in, including savings can affect the amount of benefit paid. You might need to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. You will be advised if you need to attend an interview after you have made your application to Universal Credit online.
To make a claim for Universal Credit you will also need the following:
1. A Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account that allows you to receive automated payments and set up regular payments for things like rent and bills. You will not be able to claim Universal Credit without a bank account. 2. Proof of identity something with a Photo such as a Passport or Driving license.
3. You will need to have access to the internet (so you can manage your account online) either at home, your local library or Jobcentre Plus. You will need an email address in order to claim.
4. If you are applying for help with your rent as part of your Universal Credit claim you will be asked to provide your tenancy agreement and a recent rent statement. You can find your nearest jobcentre by entering your postcode on: http://los.direct.gov.uk/ Tips to make sure you are ready….
Banking Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account, so if you don’t have one you will need to open one as soon as possible. See our related section on Bank Accounts and Credit Unions.
Budget Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears into your account. You will need to think about how to manage your money to ensure that bills, such as rent payments, are paid. The easiest way to ensure your rent is paid on time is to set up a direct debit online. For help with budgeting see The Money Advice Service Budget Planner
Email You’ll have to have a working email address to set up to make a Universal Credit claim. If you are unsure about this, you can find help and support available at firstname.lastname@example.org. A useful guide to setting up an email address can be found here.
Council Tax If you previously claimed Housing Benefit you may also have been receiving Council Tax Support to help with the cost of your Council Tax. A separate application for help with Council Tax costs should be made via your Local Authority or Council at the same time as making your online application for Universal Credit. You should contact your Local Authority or Council direct to make the application for help with your Council Tax.
Tell us: - If your circumstances change and you’re unsure what to do - You need to make a new benefit claim - You are already claiming Universal Credit - You need to change your existing benefit claim
Contact us on 0345 345 0272 For more information and advice on Universal Credit see our related links and the Government's guide above.