Universal Credit is a new benefit being introduced by the Government to replace six existing benefits with a single payment.
Its paid monthly in arrears direct to your bank/building society account, which can take up to 5 weeks for your first payment.
Universal Credit will replace the following six benefits for all new claims:
- Income Support,
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit,
- Child Tax Credit
- and Housing Benefit
If you do not have enough to live on while you wait for your first UC payment you can ask for an advance payment after you’ve made a claim. You can apply for an advance payment in your online account or through your Jobcentre Plus work coach.
Getting ready for Universal Credit
From the 7th November 2018, Bolton will be in a ‘Full Service’ area for Universal Credit.
This means that NEW claimants for benefits will be have to apply for Universal Credit on-line - GOV.UK Apply for Universal Credit
If you are already claiming benefits, you DO NOT need to make a new Universal Credit Claim unless their is a change in your circumstances. The DWP will advise if this is the case.
NOTE: Anyone who is already on Universal Credit will receive an invitation from the DWP to move over to the new system, which will be around December 18. You should NOT make a new UC claim until you are advised to do so.
To start your Universal Credit Claim, you will need:
- A mobile phone number
- An e-mail address
- Your own bank account / building society account
If you do not have an e-mail address or bank account, these will need to be set up.
You can visit any of our UCAN centres for help and support getting online or setting up an email address.
Making your Universal Credit Claim
You need the following information to make your claim:
- Valid email address / account
- Mobile phone number
- National Insurance number
- A bank or building society account (in your own name)
- Your Tenancy Agreement
- 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
- Photo ID e.g. driving licence
You will also need these details for people who live in your home, e.g. your partner.
If you don’t have any of the information listed above, please contact Job Centre Plus on 0800 328 5644 for help and advice on making an online claim.
The line is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
How will I receive my Universal Credit payments?
To receive Universal Credit you will need your own bank or building society account. Post Office accounts are not acceptable and you can not use anyone elses account to receive your payments (unless you are making a joint claim.)
If you do not have a bank account, please contact our Money Advice Team on 01204 329868 and we will assist you in setting one up.
You will be paid as follows:
- Monthly in arrears into a bank account of your choice
- If you get help with your rent (previously housing benefit), the housing payment will be included in your monthly UC payment so you will need to pay your rent to us directly
- If you live with your partner and you are both eligible, you will get one monthly joint payment
- Other adults living in the same household who are claiming Universal Credit will be paid separately
The really important bit
You can get help paying for your rent if you’re eligible for Universal Credit. This is called your housing payment, (this replaces the old housing benefit.)
This housing payment is paid directly to you and not us.
This means that you’re responsible for paying your rent. In some cases this is a big change.
Many customers have found that paying their rent by Direct Debit or Standing Order helps them budget better.
Our Income Management Team can help set one up, please contact us on 01204 328000