When BOB heard his benefits were changing to become a single monthly Universal Credit payment, he got ready to Bank, go Online and Budget to claim.
Universal Credit can only be paid into a bank account. Set one up or use the one you have. This Money Advice Service information explains what you need to do to set one up.
All claims are managed online, so you need to know where you can access the internet and the skills to go online. Book internet access in your library – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You need to plan your budget. Universal Credit is paid monthly rather than weekly or fortnightly.
What else did BOB do?
- He made an email address
- He registered on www.gov.uk.verify
- He started saving a couple of pounds each week, so he had money before my first UC payment, as it takes at least five or six weeks for your first payment to arrive after you make your claim.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a single monthly payment of benefit for people in or out of work. Some single people and families are already claiming Universal Credit.
People making a new claim for benefit may be expected to claim Universal Credit as full service rolls out to their local authority area.
It’s different because:
- You will only get one monthly payment for your household
- Universal Credit will be paid into your bank account
- If you’re entitled to help with your rent, this will be included in the monthly payment and you will have to pay the rent to us yourself.
- You will have to apply for and manage your Universal Credit online: a statement will show on your Universal Credit Journal a few days before your monthly payment is due. This shows a breakdown of your benefit entitlement. It is your responsibility to check this.
- You will still need to claim some benefits separately, like Council Tax Reduction and Personal Independence Payment.
Universal Credit is replacing the benefits below:
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Employment Support Allowance (income related)
- Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
What could prompt your application?
Changes in circumstances can also mean you will need to apply for Universal Credit.
Here’s what could prompt a change:
- Found fit for work, so Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) stops
- A relationship starts or ends
- Change in working hours
- Loss of job
- Becoming a carer
- The youngest child turns five
- Going back to work after sickness
- A new claim for Housing Benefit
- Moving from one Local Authority to another
- Change to jobseekers allowance and income support due to the birth of a child
To make your claim process as quick and easy as possible, make sure you’ve got all the following information:
- Your National Insurance number and your partner’s National Insurance number
- Your postcode
- Your email address (you can’t claim without one!)
- Your phone number (landline or mobile)
- Tai Calon’s address: Solis One, Rising Sun Industrial Estate, Blaina, Blaenau Gwent, NP13 3JW
- Your rent (contact us if you’re not sure of the correct amount)
- Your tenancy start date
- Details of any children/relatives / other people who live with you, including their name, date of birth, relationship to you and income
- Details of any savings
- Details of any other money you receive
- The name and address of your bank, your account number and sort code
More helpful information – Universal Credit
The Money Advice Service website has helpful information about Universal Credit, including waiting-for-time guidelines and how savings can affect your claim. Visit: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/universal-credit-an-introduction
They also have a Money Manager tool to help you start budgeting. If you’re not sure what benefits you may be entitled to, this Benefits Calculator by entitled to will give you an estimate of what you’re able to claim. Finally, The Department of Work and Pensions have produced this guide to lead you through what you can expect during the Universal Credit claim process: Understanding Universal Credit – Housing