Universal Credit (UC) is a means-tested benefit for people of a working age who are on a low income. Universal Credit replaced Housing Benefit, Income-based job seekers allowance, Income-based employment & support allowance, Income support, Child tax credits and Working tax credits.
Universal Credit will be paid to you in a single monthly payment, broken down into two separate elements:
If your circumstances have changed and you need to make a new benefit claim it is likely that you will need to claim Universal Credit. Likewise, if you have a significant change in circumstances that will affect your current benefit entitlement you may be advised to claim it.
If you're unsure of anything or would like more information, our Welfare Team is here to help. You can also visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit
Before making a claim you will need the following so that you can receive your UC payments as soon as possible:
Your claim can take up to 5 weeks after providing all the supporting evidence needed. During this time you can apply for an 'Advanced Payment' which will be equal to your monthly payment (you can pay this back over 12 months). Find out how to apply for an 'Advanced Payment' here.
You may also be entitled to a 2 week ‘run on’ of Housing Benefit payments to help reduce any rent arrears on your account – maximum Housing Benefit will be paid minus any deductions for spare bedrooms and non-dependants.
If you are moving between Local Authorities this ‘run on’ will be paid by your old Local Authority, it is important that you contact them to request the ‘run on’ which may be paid directly to yourself.
Our Engagement & Partnership Team are here to help if you need support getting back into the workplace, you can drop them an email for more information or advice.
UC customers who are in work and have responsibility for a child or have limited capability for work will see their work allowances increase from:
Previously for every working UC customer, every £1 earned over their work allowance was reduced (known as the UC earnings taper) by 63p and deducted automatically from any UC entitlement. Following the budget announcements this has been reduced to 55p leaving working UC customers retaining more of their earned income than previously.
This also means that customers who may not have qualified for Universal Credit may now qualify.