Universal Credit is a new type of benefit for people looking for work or who have a low income.
It is being introduced in stages and replaces the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Child and Working Tax Credits
Universal Credit will be paid in one lump monthly payment, so represents a change in how benefit claimants will need to manage their household budget.
- Help to pay for rent (the equivalent of Housing Benefit) will be paid directly to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment. It will not be paid directly to us so it will be your responsibility to pay the whole rent from your benefit.
- Applications will have to be made online.
- You will need to have a CV and be registered on Universal Job Match
- You will need to have a bank account, post office account or credit union account
Who will be affected?
Eventually all claims for the benefits mentioned above will become claims for Universal Credit. However, for now, you can only claim if you are single without children, aged between 18 to 60 and are looking for work, among some other restrictions. These restrictions are expected to be relaxed in time.
To claim, either go to the gov.uk website or ask us for help.
How can we help?
We can help you with:-
- confirming whether you should be able to claim
- making a claim online for Universal Credit and assisting with any future queries
- checking whether you are entitled to any other benefits and helping you make a claim
- setting up a direct debit to pay your rent
- setting out a personal budget plan
- managing your debts through our Money Advice service
- referring you to prepare or update a CV and register for Universal Jobmatch
If you want to know more about Universal Credit or need help please contact us on 0300 123 5544 and ask for our Benefits and Money Advice team, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Credit Union account can help you to manage your household budget if you think you will struggle to manage monthly payments, including your rent.
We have links with Bedford Credit Union. For more information see our Credit Union page.