Universal Credit is administered by the Department of Works and Pensions and aims to make the Welfare Benefit system simpler by replacing six key benefits and tax credits with one single monthly lump sum payment. The benefits being replaced are as follows:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
In order to receive Universal Credit you must have in place:
- A bank account
- An email address
- A telephone number
It is important that you notify the Association when you make a claim for Universal Credit as we have to confirm your rent information to the Department of Works and Pensions to allow them to pay the correct amount of housing costs and it is also necessary that we confirm your proposed payment method for your monthly rent charge.
On Universal Credit, you will be given an online account to manage your claim. You will be expected to use this online account to report any changes and send messages to your work coach. Part of your Universal Credit payment will be for housing costs (rent), this payment will normally be paid directly to you and in turn you will need to make arrangements with the Association to pay your monthly rent due.
If you wish to discuss this further or have any concerns about Universal Credit, please contact a member of the Housing Team at the Association’s office on 01698 269119.
If you make a new claim for Universal Credit you can ask to change the way that your Universal Credit is paid.
You can ask:
- To be paid every two weeks instead of monthly, and/or
- For the housing costs element of your Universal Credit to be paid directly to your landlord
Hints and tips you should follow to avoid any unnecessary delay in your claim being paid:
- Attend your interview at the Job Centre within 7 days of making your online Universal Credit claim.
- Let the Department of Works and Pensions know if you have a long term illness or disability and they may be able to change things to make the interview easier - this is called a reasonable adjustment.
- Gather the required information for your interview – proof of identity, national insurance number, bank account details, landlord/rent confirmation and details of any income or savings – and take this along to the interview with you.