Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will replace six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the UK. The new system is based on a single monthly payment, transferred directly into a bank account.
The benefits it will replace include:
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Single applicants currently claiming JSA will be affected first, followed by those claiming all other benefits affected, including couples and families. Everyone will have moved over to Universal Credit by 2019/2020.
What do I need to do to be ready?
Step 1 – Open a bank account
To receive your Universal Credit payment you will need to have a bank account that can receive automated payments.
Step 2 – Get online
All claims for Universal Credit will need to be made online. You will need to have access to the internet as well as an active email address.
Step 3 – Get budgeting
Universal Credit will be paid monthly so if you are used to managing your money weekly or fortnightly you will have to start managing your money across the whole month. The first payment of Universal Credit will be paid to you in arrears. This means you will have to go a whole month without benefits before you get your first payment. Think about how you are going to manage through this period of time. For budgeting help click here.
Paying your rent
You will also have to pay your rent direct to Newydd yourself – something that you may not have done in the past if your housing benefit was paid straight to Newydd. Your rent can only be directly paid to Newydd if the Department of Work and Pensions consider that you have vulnerability or need that means you would benefit from having this payment paid to Newydd on your behalf. This may also be the case if you are eight weeks in arrears or have a history of arrears with your landlord.
What can Newydd do to help me?
- Provide budgeting support
- Help to get online, develop IT skills and access the internet
- Regular updates on our website and inside In View, our magazine
- Summer roadshows
Make sure that you give us information about you and your family that is up to date. If you have any questions contact our Financial Inclusion Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org / 02920 005495