As part of the Welfare Reform Act (the Government’s changes to the benefits system) a new payment system known as ‘Universal credit’ is gradually being introduced that will bring about fundamental changes to how people’s benefits are paid. This will affect people of working age.
1 Why is the Government introducing Universal Credit?
Universal credit replaces a number of benefits including Housing Benefit with one single monthly payment for your household. Universal Credit will help ensure that claimants will be financially better off in work, which will help them and their families to become more independent.
2 What benefits does it replace?
Universal Credit will replace the following payments:
- Housing Benefit
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseekers allowance
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Your Housing Benefit will no longer be paid directly to us; it will be paid straight to you. This means that you will become responsible for paying your rent on time.
3 How to I claim for Universal Credit?
Initially, only those who are single and eligible for Job Seekers Allowance will claim Universal Credit and the Job Centre can help you with this. To claim Universal Credit you will need to be online and have an email address. Alternatively if you are eligible, you can apply using the government website. You will need a bank account. If you haven’t got a bank account speak to your Rent Income Officer. Also see our poster.
If you do not have regular access to the internet or IT equipment you can contact us for support. Universal credit is paid direct to the person claiming benefit and is normally paid monthly in arrears into your bank account.
It is essential that you pay your rent and on time. The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit. Please contact us for a direct debit form.
If you are worried or have any concerns at all about Universal Credit or any other benefit then please contact your Income Officer on 01689 889700.