Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that is replacing Housing benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income support, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance for those of working age.
Key things to note are that Universal Credit is paid as a single monthly payment to a household, it is paid monthly in arrears, for working age people only, applies to both working and non-working people, applications must be made online and your first payment is 5 weeks after you make your claim (although you can ask for partial advance to cover the initial period but it will be taken back from the next payments).
Any of the changes in your circumstance listed below are likely to require a Universal Credit application:
- A new claim to child tax credit
- Starting work and claiming working tax credit
- If you claim working tax credit and your hours drop (only if you have less than 3 children)
- If you claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and start working more than 16 hours per week
- If you claim child tax credit and start working more than 16 hours per week
- If you claim working tax credit and become sick
- If you claim legacy benefits* but start working under 16 hours (will stay on Legacy)
- If you claim legacy benefits* but become responsible for a child
- When your youngest child turns 5 if you if you are on Income support & a lone parent
- If you claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) but have a baby due to be born within 11 weeks
- If you claim child tax credit (CTC) and become responsible for another child (you could remain on CTC or it may be a claim for UC)
- If you are a couple on working tax credits and you separate
- If you are a lone parent on Income support and form a couple
- If you are a single person on legacy benefits under pension age who becomes a partner of somebody of pension credit award age
- Meets the criteria for carers allowance
- If you are in receipt of ESA but fail a health assessment
- You have a change of address and move into a new local authority area
- If you are on Income Support and finish full time education
- You are on JSA contributions based and that ends after the 6 month payment period
*Legacy Benefits = Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Income Support (IS), Employment & Support allowance (ESA), Working & Child Tax Credit.
If you are moving on to Universal Credit it can be a confusing and difficult time but you are not alone GCH can help. Our friendly Tenancy Sustainment Team can help you to make a claim. If you would like to speak to the team they are also based at our main office (Railway House) every day and also at Gloucester Job Centre Tuesdays between 10am – 5pm and Wednesdays 10am – 5pm.
It is important that you make your application as soon as possible as your claim will only start from the date your application is submitted and will not be backdated to when your change of circumstances happened.
Please notify us as your landlord to let us know you have made a claim for Universal Credit.
Please be aware that when you make a claim for Universal Credit you also will need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support, you can apply online.
Read our leaflet: What is Universal Credit and how will it affect me? (last updated April 2018)
If you have any concerns or questions about your income or benefits please contact your Income Officer on 01452 424344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.