It’s a benefit for working age people that replaces a number of other benefits and tax credits. It’s a single monthly payment for people in or out of work. The idea is to make it easier to move into and out of work because you don’t need to transfer to a different benefit as your situation changes.
The introduction of the all online service is being rolled out in this area in November 2018. Check your own area here: Entitledto’s postcode checker
You will only be affected if you have a change in circumstances or need to make a new benefits claim – the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will advise you of this.
Will it affect me?
Universal Credit will affect you if you are of working age (currently set at 18-60 years and 6 months) and you are currently claiming, or want to claim, any of the following benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Did you know?
If you are claiming Universal Credit to help with your housing costs you will need to apply to your Local Council directly for assistance with your Council Tax – you can no longer do this at your local Job Centre. This scheme is now known as the Council Tax Reduction Scheme – to avoid accruing Council Tax debt make your application at the same time as your Universal Credit claim.
Even if you’re not likely to be affected straight away, there are things you can do now to make sure you’re prepared for Universal Credit.
- Create a bank account – make sure you have a bank, building society or credit union account that Universal Credit can be paid into, and from which you can pay rent and other bills by Direct Debit
- Get online – you will have to make your Universal Credit claim and manage your account online. You can do this using your own PC, tablet and/or smartphone, or at the Job Centre Plus. You can also pop into one of our drop in sessions every Tuesday and Thursday to gain the help you need with the internet.
- Work to a monthly budget – the Government’s Money Advice Service has a useful tool: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner
Still need help? For more information – click here to read more about Universal Credit.
If you’re struggling to make an online claim, contact the UC Helpline on 0800 328 5644 available Monday – Friday between 8am – 6pm.
Every Tuesday and Thursday between 1pm and 4pm we offer drop in sessions at our Thompson Court office for those who want to talk to us about the help & support we can offer, or to speak to our Benefit and Debt Advisor!