What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is the new way that the government is paying welfare benefits.
It replaces Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.

If your circumstances change, you may need to claim Universal Credit rather than a legacy benefit. It is important not to delay making a claim, as it is very unlikely that you will be able to get backdated Universal Credit payments.

Help to make your claim
You can get help with making your Universal Credit claim from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. To access this help, call free on 0800 144 8 444 or go to: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim

Help while waiting for your first payment
After making your claim you will have to wait at least five weeks for your first payment. You can ask for an advance of Universal Credit to help you manage until then. You will need to pay back your advance a bit at a time from your future Universal Credit payments.

Help from Notting Hill Genesis
If you are struggling with Universal Credit, or with paying your rent, please speak to us as soon as possible. We want to help you to remain in your home and can assist in a number of ways such as:
• Agreeing a repayment plan with you if you are in arrears
• Speaking to the Local Authority on your behalf if you are having problems with Housing Benefit
• Referring you for in-house specialist benefits advice to ensure you are getting all that you are entitled to
• Giving you advice about downsizing if you are affected by the bedroom tax.

Through our in-house teams and partnerships with local support agencies, we can offer help with a range of issues including benefits advice, managing your money, dealing with debts and help to get into work.

Contact your housing officer or call 033 3000 3000. You can also access support here.

Pay rent by direct debit
If you can, paying your rent by direct debit is the easiest way to ensure that you keep on top of your rent payments. A quick call to your housing officer or the customer services centre will set one up for you.