The Government has combined many working age benefits and allowances into a single payment called Universal Credit.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new benefit for people aged under statutory pension age. It's has now been rolled out across the country and replaces some existing benefits and tax credits.
Universal Credit has replaced:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit.
What has changed?
There are several important differences between Universal Credit and previous benefits.
- You have to apply for Universal Credit online.
- It will be paid monthly, into a bank account of your choice.
- If you get help with your housing costs this will be included in your monthly payment. You will be responsible for paying your full rent to Notting Hill Genesis.
- If you live with a partner you will receive a single payment that covers both of you.
When will I start getting Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is now available in all areas.
If you’re already claiming one or more of the benefits being phased out, you should carry on claiming as normal. You’ll be told when you need to do anything differently.
However, if you need to make a new benefit claim or your circumstances change, or you may be asked to claim Universal Credit.
How does it work?
Unlike Housing Benefit which is usually paid to your landlord, Universal Credit will be paid to you directly. This means that you’ll be responsible for paying your full rent to Notting Hill Genesis. The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit.
If you are already paying a proportion of your rent yourself, set up a Direct Debit now. This means that when your rent is due it will be taken out of your bank account without you having to do anything.
Universal Credit will be paid monthly into your bank account. There are two things you can do to get ready for this:
- If you don’t already have one, open a bank account. Make sure you can use it to set up direct debits or standing orders to pay your bills.
- Create a monthly household budget to keep track of your spending across the month.
Visit the Money Advice Service for more information on Universal Credit, bank accounts and budgeting.
Help to save
A new government scheme open to working people eligible for Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit gives you the chance to earn a tax-free bonus of 50p for every £1 saved.
To find out more, or to start saving, visit Help to save or call the helpline on 0300 322 7093.