Universal Credit is being introduced as a single monthly payment replacing current benefits.
In Gloucester Universal Credit is being introduced next February for new claimants and if you are affected you need to prepare before this date.
The first thing you need to do to prepare for Universal Credit is to make sure you have a bank account where the money can be paid. If you don’t you risk not being paid or delays on payments.
What type of bank account do I need?
For Universal Credit to be paid you will need a bank or building society account or credit union account.
Bank accounts that allow card payments and Direct Debits are more helpful than Post Office Card Accounts.
What are the benefits of a basic bank account?
- Free to open & use
- Receive money
- Pay in cash & cheques
- Pay regular bills via Direct Debit
- Set up Standing Orders
- Take out money over the counter (cashback)
- Withdraw from cash machines
- Use a debit card for online shopping
- Track all your transactions with printed or online statements
- You will not have an overdraft
What identification do I need to set up a bank account?
Official ID can be a passport or driving licence. A letter from us may suffice.
Once you have made a claim for Universal Credit, the final part of the process will be to confirm your identity. You will be asked to attend an interview at the Job Centre with a member of staff who will become your ‘work coach’. The DWP will contact you to arrange this appointment so choose carefully as if you miss or don’t respond to the appointment your claim may be cancelled.
Government Verify Service
If you have registered for the Government Verify Service then this can be used confirm your identity but if not you will need to bring specific documents to your interview to confirm your identity, address and national insurance number and more.
What you need to bring to the Interview:
- Your identity– passport, driving license or EEA national identity card
- Your address – an official letter from a bank or energy supplierYour NI number – it will be on a payslip or letters from the HMRC
- Income from work – any recent payslipsYour bank account or building society account- proof of your balance and any savings (this may also include a credit union account)
- Housing Costs – proof of how much rent you pay and landlords address
- Any income not from work – examples would be a pension or insurance plan
- Childcare costs– if you want to claim for childcare costs then bring an invoice or receipt
- A P45 if you have left work
- Capital investments – details of any shares or property
- Birth certificates for any children
- Details of any benefits you are receiving including child benefit (bring any reference numbers)
If you are claiming with a partner then you will have to provide all their evidence for them as well.
If you don’t take the correct documents to complete your claim you will be given one month to send the information to a postal address. You will not be paid any Universal Credit until all the requested documents have been provided. It is therefore vitally important that if you think you may be eligible for UC that you make sure that you have these documents available.
Do you need help or advice?
We have friendly advisors who can help you to set up an account and make sure you are financially prepared for the introduction of Universal Credit.