Guide to Universal Credit
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have produced a guide [PDF I 873 KB] for claimants.
What is Universal Credit
Universal credit is a new benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work.
Who qualifies for Universal Credit
Universal credit is available to single people, couples and families in some areas of the country. It is available for new single claimants in the Wycombe area.
How to apply for Universal Credit
Apply for Universal Credit at GOV.UK
The Department for Work and Pensions will calculate your benefit, not Wycombe District Council.
Changes to benefits
Universal credit will eventually replace:
- Income-based jobseeker's allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Housing benefit
What has changed
Housing benefit changed from September 2018 (but not for pensioners). Local councils no longer pay housing benefit as this is being replaced by Universal Credit and administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. From September, when making a new claim for Universal Credit, you need to apply to DWP for Universal CreditCheck (external site) to make sure you can claim support. This applies to most people of working age (from 16 years to pension age) within the Wycombe area.
Once Universal Credit starts there will no longer be any new claims for housing benefits except for:
- If you or your partner are entitled to (or have been within the last month) an award of income support, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or housing benefit that includes a severe disability premium.
- Claimants in supported accommodation or temporary accommodation.
For claimants that fall into the above exceptions, claims for Universal Credit will still have to be made but housing costs will be paid under housing benefit.
How to apply
Universal credit full service is a fully digital service so claims have to be made online.
If you want to claim universal credit you need to go into the Gov.uk website, follow the links to make a universal credit claim, and put in your postcode.
If you are making a claim you’ll need:
- your bank, building society or credit union account details
- an email address
- your National Insurance number
- information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- details of your income, for example payslips
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
Claimants will also need proof of identity for this, for example a:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
The Wycombe Citizens Advice Bureau is available to help residents who need help to make a claim online to make an online claim for universal credit you can get this.
If you claim universal credit and would like help with your finances please talk to your Job Centre advisor who will arrange for you to get budgeting support.
If you are receiving universal credit, but need extra help you can apply to Wycombe District Council for a discretionary housing payment. This is a discretionary payment that is only available to claimants who are receiving universal credit or housing benefit.
You can apply for a discretionary housing payment here:
Universal credit is paid once a month, usually into the claimant’s bank, building society or credit union account. The payment can include an amount for housing, which the claimant will usually need to pay to their landlord.
For further information go to: