Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age. It is a single monthly payment that is paid in arrears and it is being introduced in stages across the country.
Universal Credit will eventually replace the following 6 existing benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
How do I get help paying my Council Tax?
Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) for help with paying your Council Tax is still administered by the Council and is not part of Universal Credit. Therefore you need to make an application to the Council even if you do receive Universal Credit.
What happens if I am already receiving Housing Benefit?
You do not need to do anything if you are currently receiving Housing Benefit. You will eventually have to make a claim for Universal Credit but you will be told when you need to do so.
What should I claim - Housing Benefit or Universal Credit?
If you have a partner, children or you are unfit for work, whether you have to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will depend on where you live in the Uttlesford District. There are currently 6 different start dates for the introduction of full service Universal Credit across the Uttlesford District. The start date depends upon the postcode of where you live and therefore which Jobcentre Plus office administers your postcode. The majority of the Uttlesford District postcodes will have to claim Universal Credit from 25 October 2017
Please see the table below which lists the Jobcentres, the proposed start dates and the post codes affected.
Jobcentre Plus office
Start date for full service
CB10 1, CB10 2, CB10 9, CB11 3, CB11 4, CM22 6, CM24 1, CM24 8, CM6 1, CM6 2, CM6 3, CM7 4, CM77 6, CM77 8
CM1 4, CM3 1
CM22 7, CM23 1, CM23 5
Please note that these dates are subject to change if the Government amend the roll-out timetable.
You will still be able to claim Housing Benefit after these dates if;
1. You have reached state pension age - Find your state pension age.
2. You have three or more children - Families with three or more children will not have to claim Universal Credit until November 2018. If you are receiving Universal Credit and then have a third child, you will have to claim Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit.
3. You live in supported accommodation provided by a Housing Association or a registered charity - If you receive support from your landlord as part of your rent because you are vulnerable in some way, e.g., you have physical disabilities, mental health issues or drug/alcohol addictions, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit .
How do I claim Housing Benefit?
How do I claim Universal Credit?
If you fall under the group of households that should be claiming Universal Credit you will need to do this online as Universal Credit can only be claimed and maintained online. Applications for Universal Credit can be made online.
Further information about Universal Credit can also be found using this link. If you do not have reliable online access, you will need to go to your local library, Citizens Advice office, or we can help you with online claiming at the Uttlesford District Council Office. The Benefits Division can also offer Personal Budgeting Support advice for people who need guidance to manage their finances once they have claimed Universal Credit.
There is a Universal Credit helpline which is available. You should contact the helpline if you have any questions or your circumstances change and you're already getting Universal Credit
The Universal Credit helpline is: Telephone: 0345 600 0723
How much Universal Credit will I get?
What you will receive will depend on your circumstances. Universal Credit is calculated as a basic allowance for a single person or a couple plus additional amounts for:
► Each child or young person you are responsible for
► If you have a 'limited capability for work' (this means that you are unable to work due to illness or disability
► Child care costs If you have regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person
► Housing costs (mortgage interest payments and rent payments)
More information can be found at how much universal credit will I get?
How is Universal Credit paid?
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears directly into your bank or building society account. It is a single monthly payment which means that it is your responsibility to budget to pay your expenses which includes your rent.
If you are a Council Tenant and you are used to Housing Benefit being paid weekly direct to your rent account that will no longer happen with Universal Credit. Your Universal Credit payment will include an amount for your Housing Costs and you then need to pay the full rent liability to the Council.
Universal Credit can be paid directly to your landlord but only if you have rent arrears or you are unable to manage your own finances. If you require the housing element of your Universal Credit award to be paid directly to your Landlord you will need to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA).
Universal Credit and Landlords
The DWP has issued guidance for landlords whose tenants receive Universal Credit. These guides can be found at: Landlord information regarding Universal Credit