Universal Credit – What is it?
Universal Credit (UC) replaces six common benefits paid to people between 18 and Pension Credit age, including:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Put simply, if you receive any of the benefits listed , you get one payment into your bank account, rather than a single payment for each.
When will Universal Credit be introduced?
Universal Credit’s full service started in High Wycombe for most new claimants in September 2018. Universal Credit will not yet be implemented on those with three or more children who are currently claiming legacy benefits.
How do I apply for Universal Credit?
The initial claim will have to be made online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.
Can I get help with the application process?
If you need help completing the application process for UC, staff at Jobcentres, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations will be able to help.
You can also access help at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/other-financial-support, or contact us on 01494 476100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to speak to us about Universal Credit.
How and when will I receive payments?
UC will consist of a single, monthly payment which is paid in arrears and directly into your bank account.
Couples living in the same household will receive one monthly payment between them.
Households will then be responsible for managing their own rent payments.
Along with the assessment period of 1 month, you may also need to allow for a further 14 days delay (7 days either side of the assessment period):
- 1 month assessment period
- 7 day payment period for administration purposes before you receive your first UC payment
Important: Consider putting money aside and topping up your rent account in advance to tide you over this 5-6 week delay until your first Universal Credit payment arrives.
Can I get smaller more frequent payments?
In exceptional circumstances, yes, more frequent payments is one of the ‘Alternative Payment Arrangements’ (APA) that the DWP will consider if you are having difficulty budgeting. APAs are temporary solutions for 6 months. You should contact DWP/Jobcentre for personal budgeting support.
Can I have my rent paid directly to Red Kite from the start?
Possibly. If you have significant support needs, an APA may be set up. This could involve either:
- Rent paid directly to Red Kite
- More frequent payments
- Splitting the payment within the household
DWP staff will consider information from both tenants and landlords before taking a decision to set up an APA.
Where can I find out more?
Our Relationship Specialists are here to help and can put you in touch with the right support for your family if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
Please contact us on 01494 476100 or at email@example.com or visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit