What it is, how to claim, payments and advice.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:
- Income Support
- Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit
Does this affect me?
The initial roll out of Universal Credit in 2015/16 is limited to certain people who would have made a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance. The criteria for claiming Universal Credit changes regularly and you should check the Department for Work and Pensions Universal Credit service.
How to claim
Claims for Universal Credit should be made online at www.gov.uk/universal-credit
If you haven't got your own pc, then try to use a computer belonging to a friend or member of your family. If this isn't possible, you can use a computer free of charge at one of our offices.
Before making a claim, you need to gather the following information and have it ready:
- your postcode
- your National Insurance number
- details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
- your rent agreement (if you have one)
- details of your savings or other capital
- details of any income that's not from work (e.g. from an insurance plan)
- details of any other benefits you're getting
You might also need these details for people who live in your home, e.g. your partner.
If you're already getting housing benefit
You don't need to do anything. You'll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
Universal Credit will usually be paid monthly in arrears to one person in the household.
Help and advice
Your local job centre will be able to advise you on Universal Credit, payments and budgeting support.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The DWP aim to deliver support and information to help those affected to understand the changes and prepare for the move to Universal Credit.
- Universal Credit helpline: 0345 600 0723
- Universal Credit webpages
Information to help you understand more about Universal Credit and financial budgeting is also available on the Money Advice Service website.
If you are currently claiming benefits and you want to know how Universal Credit might affect you in the future, you can use the Universal Credit Personal Planner to get a personal statement to find out what changes you may need to make to get ready for Universal Credit