About Universal Credit
The roll out for Universal Credit (UC) throughout Surrey started from February 2016. For the people already transferred over to UC - and for those that may do so in the future - it's important to know how it might affect you.
Since October 2013 the government has been rolling out UC to replace many of the existing means tested benefits. If you’re of working age and currently on certain benefits you will be on Universal Credit by the end of 2017.
The aim of UC is to 'make work pay'. UC can top up your earnings so you are better off in work than on benefits. A UC claim will need to be applied for online. Claims will be managed by the Department of Work and Pensions at a central location, instead of your local council, Job Centre Plus or benefits agency.
Which benefits will be affected?
UC will replace these existing benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support, Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit.
If you claim any of these benefits you will be on UC by the end of 2017.
How will Universal Credit be paid?
You will be paid monthly in arrears (one lump sum payment) into a bank account (the same way as a monthly salary is paid). It is important you budget for money to last the whole month.
As this money will include your Housing Benefit (HB), you will be responsible for paying your rent and service charge. Rosebery will no longer receive HB directly from the local authority on your behalf. Your tenancy agreement states that you have to pay your rent in advance, so it's important you start budgeting and getting yourself in advance now.
What you need to do:
- You will need to have a bank account
- The bank account will ideally need to allow you to pay by direct debit or standing order
- You will need to be able to use a computer to manage your benefit claim online (computers are available at Rosebery for you to use for free)
- You need to prepare a monthly budget
- You need to get yourself a month in advance
Find out more about claiming UC