Universal Credit

UNIVERSAL CREDIT

Click here to download Universal Credit leaflet.

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people aged between 18 and Pension Credit (PC) age:

https://pensioncreditcalculator.dwp.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator.php?new

This calculator will give an indication of your Pension Credit age. Pension Credit age will vary depending on your date of birth so if in any doubt, just ask.

We currently have ‘Universal Credit Live Service’, which can only be accessed if you meet certain Gateway Conditions, these will be lifted from 8 November 2017.

If you are over 18 and below PC age from 8 November 2017 you will be able to apply for Universal Credit. This benefit replaces 6 means tested benefits:

  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IB JSA),
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (IR ESA),
  • Income Support (IS),
  • Child tax credits,
  • Working tax credits,
  • Housing Benefit.

If you have 3 or more children you will be unable to claim and will be directed to legacy benefits.

There are many situations that will lead to a claim for Universal Credit to be made:

  • On IB-JSA/IS/IR-ESA and start or increase hours – Claim UC
  • Lone parent on IS and youngest child turns 5 – Claim UC (unless you satisfy another criteria for continuing to receive IS)
  • On IS and stop being a carer – Claim UC
  • On IR-ESA and fail Work Capability Assessment (WCA) – Claim UC, if you successfully challenge the decision you will be given another element but remain on UC.

The frequency of payments being made will also change as Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears. Although there may be some exceptions for vulnerable people, it is essential that all tenants have a way of paying their rent as soon as they receive their Universal Credit payment. We realise that this is a huge change and some people may struggle to prioritise essential payments such as rent. If this is the case, contact our Welfare Reform Officer who will be able to talk through all of your options.

Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap still apply in the UC system.

 

 

WHAT CAN I DO?

Budget Carefully

It is important that you get more information and advice. This will allow you to budget for the changes and plan ahead to reduce any negative effects. If possible, start paying your rent in advance in order to prepare for when Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears. Ask your work coach for Personal Budgeting Support delivered by the CONNECT team to help with making your money go further.

Get a bank account

With the introduction of Universal Credit, all benefit payments will be made direct to you. It will be extremely important that you have a bank account as your housing benefit payments will be paid to you and not to Abertay Housing Association.

You are responsible for the payment of your rent. Should you not pay your rent and go into arrears, you may risk losing your home.

Having an account will help you manage your money, set up monthly direct debits and take the worry out of budgeting. If you don’t have a bank account speak to our Welfare Reform Officer who will provide you with further details.

Get online

As mentioned above, under the new system, the vast majority of benefit claims will be made online. If you need help getting online, contact our Welfare Reform Officer for more information.

Contact us

If you are worried about how these changes will affect you, or you need further information, contact our Welfare Reform Officer as soon as possible – don’t bury your head in the sand.

Richard Pinner

Welfare Reform Officer

Tel: 01382 513826

Email: richard.pinner@abertayha.co.uk

 

USEFUL RESOURCES

Here are the links to other useful websites that provide information on Universal Credit.