Release Date: 31-Jan-2015
Universal Credit will work differently from the benefits it replaces:
A number of benefits that are currently paid separately, including Housing Benefit, are being brought together into a single payment called Universal Credit. The new scheme is being rolled out in Calderdale and Barnsley this April, and it will start in Kirklees for single new claimants between May and July 2015.
1. You'll be expected to make your claim online
If you don't know how to use a computer or the internet, you can learn how by taking a beginners course at a UK Online centre. To find a centre near you, visit UK Online or phone 0800 77 1234.
If you don't have access to a computer or the internet, just ask for further advice at your local Jobcentre Plus when you first claim Universal Credit. Most libraries also have computers you can use - usually free of charge
2. Most people will be paid once a month direct to their bank account
Before you claim Universal Credit, you'll need to set up an account to receive payment and to pay your rent. YOU will be responsible for paying your rent.
With a bank or building society account you can set up automated monthly payments for your bills. If you’re worried about managing your money, ask about setting up two accounts – one just for your bills.
You would be paid Universal Credit once a month. You would have to pay bills, expenses and rent out of your Universal Credit monthly payment. So before claiming Universal Credit, think about how you’ll plan your budget around it.
The Money Advice Service website has advice about how to budget for a monthly payment. It also has an online budget planning tool you can use to manage your money – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
3. You’ll have to start paying rent yourself
Currently, Housing Benefit is paid directly to us. However, with Universal Credit, you will have to pay your rent out of your single monthly benefit. If you get behind with your rent, you could lose your home. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ll be requiring everyone to pay their rent by Direct Debit when Universal Credit is introduced.
4. You'll get a single payment for your household
You will normally get one Universal Credit payment for you and your partner. Both of you would need to decide which account to have it paid in to.
If you are worried about being able make these changes, please contact our money advice team on 01484 414975