Universal Credit is coming - will you be ready?

Release Date: 25-Sep-2015
Universal Credit is the new single monthly payment that replaces several of the most commonly-claimed benefits. At the moment, it only affects new single household claimants in Kirklees, but it will eventually affect everyone who claims any of the most common benefits.
Universal Credit is coming - will you be ready?

Universal Credit is coming - will you be ready?

These are

• Income based job seekers allowance
• Income related employment and support allowance
• Income Support
• Child Tax credits
• Working Tax Credits
• Housing Benefit

In order to be ready for Universal Credit, you will need to be able to

• Complete an online claim
• Ensure that you have a bank account that can receive your benefit electronically and make electronic payments such as Direct Debits to pay your rent.
• Budget on a monthly basis rather than a weekly or fortnightly basis as now.

As a Kirklees tenant, the most important change is that you will be responsible for paying your own rent.

• All your benefits, including Housing Benefit, will be paid to you as a single payment once a month.
• You will need to pay rent yourself. It will no longer be paid by Housing Benefit.
• You will not receive your first payment until one calendar month plus 7 days after the date of your claim. This payment will include an allowance for one month’s rent.
• Housing Benefit will stop at the effective date of the Universal Credit claim – this means you will owe at least five weeks rent. You will be expected to pay this back over time.

If you are told that you will be moved onto Universal Credit, you should contact KNH as soon as you are clear about your payment date and ask about setting up a Direct Debit to pay your rent. This should be done as a monthly payment as close to your Universal Credit payment date as possible.

Call 01484 414886 to set up a Direct Debit.

What if I can’t pay my rent?

If you are struggling to pay your rent, you need to talk to us as soon as possible so we can help. We have a confidential, professionally qualified debt advice team whose main role is to help people manage their budgets and sort out any debts. They can help set up an affordable arrangement so you can pay any rent arrears and can also help negotiate with any other people you owe money to and keep you out of court.

This change from one benefit system to another will cause some tenants problems, but we can help!

Please contact the team on 01484 414975