Universal Credit

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 is changing

Housing benefit is changing from 5 September 2018 (but not for pensioners). Local councils will no longer pay housing benefit as this is being replaced by Universal Credit which will be assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions. From 5 September most people of working age (from 16 years up to pension age) in the Wycombe area making a new claim for benefit will have to apply to DWP for Universal Credit. There will be a few that cannot claim Universal Credit until 26 September. Check here to make sure you can claim for Universal Credit:

Universal Credit postcode checker (external website)

Once Universal Credit starts there will no longer be any new claims for housing benefits except for:

  • Pensioners
  • Claimants with three children or more, or
  • Claimants in supported accommodation or temporary accommodation.

In these circumstances 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.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

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
  • passport
  • debit or credit card

Need help?

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.

DHPs

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:

https://www.wycombe.gov.uk/pages/Housing/Housing-benefit/Discretionary-help-paying-rent.aspx

Payments

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:

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/