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You can claim Universal Credit if you're on a low income or out of work.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit replacing some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now.

It is for people who are of working age (between 18 and the state pension age). You can claim Universal Credit if you’re out of work, or in work with a low income.

Universal Credit replaces a number of benefits, including:

  • Housing benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • You will need to make and manage your claim online.If you need help to do this or want to boost your digital confidence, whg can help.
  • It’s a single monthly payment.This means all of the benefits for your household will be combined in to one payment.
  • The monthly payment will be made directly to your bank or building society account.You’ll need to set one up if you don’t already have one.
  • You are responsible for paying your rent.Part of your Universal Credit payment may be allocated towards 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.
  • You will have to wait around 5 weeks before you receive your first payment.It is a good idea to prepare for this by ensuring your whg rent account is in credit, and to think about putting aside some money each week to tide you over.
When will Universal Credit affect me?

Universal Credit was introduced gradually across the country and in stages. The Government aims to have it fully rolled out for all working age claimants by September 2024.

You will need to pay your council tax as it is not included in Universal Credit.  You will need to make a claim for Council Tax Support as you are claiming universal credit and your local council will be able to help you with your council tax bill. Find your local council: https://www.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-reduction

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

If you need help getting online or want to build confidence in your digital skills, the Click Start team can help: call 0300 555 6666.

If you are ready to begin the online application, click here.

Useful links:

How to claim Universal Credit

Help to claim Universal Credit

Help and support with Universal Credit

Because Universal Credit is a big change to the way existing benefits work, we understand that you may need some extra help and support with making your claim, managing your money and more.

  • You will need to make and manage your claim online.You will also need to verify your identity online as part of the process.

If you need help getting online or want to build confidence in your digital skills, the Click Start team can help: call 0300 555 6666. You can use computers with access to the internet for free at whg offices, at your Jobcentre Plus, or your local library.

  • It’s a single monthly payment.This means all of the benefits for your household will be combined in to one payment.

You will need to think about the way you plan your monthly income and spending. The single monthly payment is paid in arrears, and you may need to change the way you manage your money. Our calculator can help with this:

Benefit and budgeting calculator

  • The monthly payment will be made directly to your bank or building society account.You’ll need to set one up if you don’t already have one.

If you don’t already have an account, 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.

  • You are responsible for paying your rent.It is up to you to manage your money and make your rent payments to whg.

Part of your Universal Credit payment may be allocated towards 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.

  • You will have to wait around 5 weeks before you receive your first Universal Credit payment.

You should prepare for this by ensuring your rent account is in credit. Contact whg if you need advice on your rent account.

whg provides a number of support services to help you:

  • Access free and confidential advice through our Money Advice Service. Our expert team will be able to help you maximise your income and advise on any debt issues
  • Our ‘UCSavvy’ course in partnership with Just Finance Foundation can help you prepare for Universal Credit. Scroll down to find out more about these free, friendly sessions.
  • The Employment and Training Team can help build your confidence and prepare you for work by providing tailored, individual support
  • Our Health and Wellbeing Team can help you maintain your lifestyle in your own home
  • The Community Health Team offers clubs and courses to help local people lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

There is also a Government Universal Credit helpline:

  • Freephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Universal Credit: Frequently Asked Questions

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.

This will depend on where you live and whether you have had a change in your circumstances that triggers the need to claim UC.

Universal Credit is claimed online.

If you are claiming as a couple you will need to claim separately.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Universal Credit: Begin an application
  • Make sure you have all the information you need to hand
  • Remember that once you have applied online, there are more steps you will need to complete before your claim is complete.
  • Your postcode
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • Your tenancy agreement and a rent confirmation letter from whg
  • Details of any income, savings or capital
  • Child benefit number, if you have children
  • A passport or driving licence is not required at this stage but it will help speed up your application.
  • 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’ and provide certain documents as proof for your claim
  • If you do not attend an interview you not be awarded any Universal Credit payment.

If you are ready to begin the online application, click here.

Do you have any questions?

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