Universal Credit has started to replace six benefits / tax credits - by combining them in to a single monthly payment.
The payment is calculated and paid monthly, and can include help with your rent.
The Department for Work and Pensions have been introducing Universal Credit slowly. It is being rolled out across the UK by postcode area.
When will I need to claim?
This will depend on where you live and whether you have had a change in your circumstances that triggers the need to claim UC.
How do I make a claim?
Universal Credit is claimed online.
If you are claiming as a couple you will need to claim separately.
How do I complete my claim?
After you have made an application, there are still things to do to ensure your claim is successful.
You'll need to book an appointment to go to your Jobcentre Plus for an interview, where you'll:
- Agree and sign your 'claimant commitment'
- Provide certain documents as proof for your claim
- Discuss whether you need help with budgeting
- Have an ID interview (if you haven't verified your ID online).
If you do not attend an interview within a set time, your claim will be cancelled. You will be informed of your deadline whilst making your claim.
When will I get paid?
Universal Credit is usually paid on the same day every month.
When you make a new claim you will have...
- a calendar month before your entitlement is assessed, then...
- up to 7 days for your payment to be processed.
It is paid monthly, based on the date you claimed, and is paid in arrears.
What is an Advance Payment?
An Advance Payment can help if you can't manage until your first (or next) payment.
You can get one when:
- You make a new claim and are going to find it difficult to wait for your first payment
- You are already claiming Universal Credit and have a change in your circumstances which mean you are going to find it difficult to wait for your next payment
- You need help with one-off expenses.
An Advance Payment is an 'advance' of your future payments and will need to be paid back. Rather than in one lump sum, you will pay it back over 6 or 12 months - directly out of your Universal Credit payments.
Will the way I pay my rent change?
Universal Credit can include help to pay your rent, called housing costs.
However, you are responsible for making rent payments to whg, in full and on time, from your bank or building society account.
It is a good idea to set up a payment plan so your rent is always paid on time each month. Paying your Rent First as a priority means you can enjoy a safe and secure home. You should contact whg if you need any help or advice.
If you have been receiving Housing Benefit and are used to your rent being paid directly to your landlord, this will change. Make sure you contact whg's Income Team when you make a claim.
What if I don't have a bank account?
Universal Credit can be paid in to a:
- Current Account
- Basic Bank Account
- Credit Union Account
- Prepaid Card Account.
You'll need to set one of these up if you don't already have one. whg Money Advice Team give you free and friendly support to get you up and running. Or Credit Union Walsave can help on 01922 653310.
What is Universal Credit?
When will it affect me?
How do I apply for Universal Credit?
Universal Credit help and support
Frequently Asked Questions
Universal Credit: full service map
Begin an online application
Calculate your benefits