What is Universal Credit?

 

Universal Credit is a new benefit for working-age people which replaces:

  • Housing benefit
  • Jobseekers’ allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Income-related employment and support allowance

 
How Will I Be Paid?

  • Universal Credit (UC) is paid in a different way to your current benefit arrangement. It’ll be paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account. If you live with your partner and you both claim Universal Credit, you’ll receive a single payment that covers both of you.

 
Where Is Universal Credit Available?

  • Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.

 
What Can I Do To Prepare?

  • Try to build up credit on your rent account.  UC is paid in arrears, pay some extra money towards your rent so you won’t have rent arrears once you switch over to Universal Credit
  • If you are struggling financially during the waiting days for Universal Credit to be paid, contact us and other local agencies who can provide support with food bank vouchers, help and advice with utility bills, hardship funds, details of local charities, and signposting for other useful services.
  • Make sure you have a bank account, so you can receive the benefit payment and set up direct debits. If you don’t have an account you should open a bank, building society, Post Office or credit union account.
  • Direct debits are a quick and easy way to pay your rent. You set it up once and don’t have to remember when to pay.
  • Get used to budgeting for monthly payments.  As UC is paid monthly, it’s important that you get used to budgeting this way.

 
Need More Help?

  • If you are affected by any of these changes and are worried about being able to pay your rent please contact our income team or our Financial Inclusion Officer, who can help manage your payments and help guard against you losing your home.

For more details on the how your benefits will be paid, click here:

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-have-your-benefits-paid

For advice on how to choose the right bank account, click here:

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-to-choose-the-right-bank-account