Find out all you need to know about Universal Credit, the government's single monthly benefit payment.
The Government continues to replace a number of benefits to make the benefit system simpler and improve the incentives for work. Only one claim needs to be made and only one payment will be made. Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country, and there will be claims in our area soon.The payments will be made monthly in arrears so it is important that you budget for your money to last the whole month.
Claiming Universal Credit is different to the way you currently claim benefits. You will be expected to apply for Universal Credit online via the internet and manage your claim through an online account.
Claims will be administered by the Department of Work and Pensions at a central location rather than by your local council, Job Centre Plus and benefits agency.
If you are on a low income, you can still be paid Universal Credit when you first start a new job or increase your part-time hours.
You will receive one monthly payment, paid into your bank account in the same way as a monthly salary. This payment will be made in arrears. Universal Credit will replace these existing benefits:
Income-based jobseeker's allowance
Income-related employment and support allowance
Child tax credits
Working tax credits
Claims for existing benefits and credits are being phased out. If you currently claim any of the benefits listed above, at some point your claim will be transferred over to Universal Credit, the housing benefit part of which will be paid to you. We don't know the date yet, but we will let you know as soon as we do.
Once you start to claim Universal Credit, we will no longer receive housing benefit direct from the local authority on your behalf.
You will be responsible for paying your rent and service charges to us. Your tenancy agreement says that you have to pay your rent in advance and once you are transferred to Universal Credit, you will need to make sure that it is paid on time. There are lots of ways that you can pay, but the easiest way to pay is to set up a direct debit.
To find out more about what Universal Credit is, watch this video below:
If you need to apply for Universal Credit you can pick up some useful hints and tips by watching this video below:
Universal Credit is a means tested benefit that brings together a number of in and out of work benefits into one including; Income bases Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.
Not straight away but everyone currently claiming an eligible benefits (see What is Universal Credit?) will eventually be moved over to Universal Credit. The timescale for this move has not yet been finalised by Government but should not be before 2017.
No. Only if you are of working age with a low income will you become a Universal Credit claimant. There may also be some of you who live in certain types of accommodation who will still receive Housing Benefit rather than the Housing Element of Universal Credit. (People aged between 18 and the qualifying age for Pension Credit (currently 60 years, six months).)
No. Someone claiming Universal Credit will also be able to make a claim for; contribution based Jobseeker’s Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payments) Child Benefit and Carer’s Allowance. Some of you will claim one of these benefits alongside Universal Credit. Council Tax Benefit is also not included in Universal Credit.
You will need to have with you; your National Insurance number, an email address, your phone number, your address, PA Housing's address, the amount of rent that you are charged, your bank account details, details of any savings that you have and any salary or income that you receive.
The form cannot be saved so you will need all of this information as a claim must be completed on-line in one sitting.
If you receive Housing Benefit, you’ll need to let your local housing benefit department know your new rent. If you live in Elmbridge, we’ll let them know automatically. If you get Universal Credit, you need to let the DWP know.
Information on reporting a change in your circumstances can be found here
Universal Credit helpline Telephone: 0800 328 9344 Welsh language (make a claim): 0800 012 1888 Welsh language (report changes): 0800 328 1744 Textphone: 0800 328 1344 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm