Universal Credit

Introduction and how to claim

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is being introduced in stages between 2013 and 2020. It's for people of working age, in or out of work, designed to top up their income to a minimum level. Universal Credit will eventually replace Housing Benefit and certain other benefits for people who are out of work as well as tax credits for people in work.

  • Universal Credit is gradually replacing these benefits:
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced gradually across the country, in stages and the Government aims to have it fully rolled out by 2020.

Universal Credit key facts

If you are Pension Credit age, you will not be affected by this change, unless you have a partner who is under Pension Credit age and you are not getting Pension Credit.

For now, most new claims are from single, newly-unemployed people, although more jobcentres are now taking claims from couples and families.

However, if you’re in an area which offers a full service and are entitled to the benefits being replaced, you’ll be asked to claim Universal Credit.

If you get help with your rent, this will be included in your monthly payment – you’ll then pay your landlord directly as this will be your responsibility.

If you live with someone as a couple and you are both entitled to claim UC, you will get one monthly joint payment paid into a single bank account.

UC is paid monthly in arrears so it can take up to six weeks after you make your claim to get your first payment.

There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you’re claiming UC. Instead, the amount you get will gradually reduce as you earn more, so you won’t lose all your benefits at once.

You have to make your claim online. https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

Universal Credit FAQ’s

Here are some frequently ask questions about Universal Credit each of these questions will have links which will explain the answers or links for you to answer questions to identify if you need to do anything in preparation for Universal Credit

Universal Credit replaces a number of benefits for working aged claimants including Housing Benefit with one single monthly payment for your household. If you and your partner are eligible for Universal Credit, you will receive one payment for both of you.  

The following YouTube video will give you an over view and the document will give you more detail to an introduction of Universal credit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7GUu7Xa7Nw

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-an-introduction/an-introduction-to-universal-credit

How prepared are you for Universal credit?

The following document will give you an idea of how prepared you are, or watch this YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7GUu7Xa7Nw

http://ucpp.dwp.gov.uk/universal-credit-preparation/

How will I be paid if I don’t have a bank account?

You will need to have a bank account for Universal Credit to be paid. If you don’t have a bank account and want to know how to go about opening an account please click on the link below.

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/hub/bank-accounts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZoc2Cv3BAE

Can I claim Universal Credit in my area?

If you click on the link below and enter your postcode you will find out if you can claim universal credit.

https://universalcreditinfo.net/

I live in a Full Universal Credit area how do I make a claim? What information will I need to do this?

In order to make a claim for Universal Credit you will need to have certain information to hand. Click on the video below for more information or click on to the web link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0CJHk6GO0I

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

I struggle now with budgeting is there any help I can get?

There is support available if you need help with budgeting and managing your money. You can also speak to your Customer Account Officer who may be able to refer you to the Aster Support service. Or you can click on the link below for additional information on where to get budgeting assistance.  

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/help-with-budgeting-your-universal-credit/universal-credit-help-with-managing-your-money

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfnLgHeFySQ

I am on a zero hours contract how does this affect my Universal credit?

If you are working and recently made a claim for universal credit or you are already claiming Universal Credit and working. Please read the link below on how different payment frequencies are dealt with, within Universal Credit

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments-payment-cycles