Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that has replaced the majority of new claims for 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.

Your Universal Credit is:

  • A single payment each month which is paid in arrears.
  • Currently for working age people only.
  • For both working and non-working households.
  • Claimed and managed online.
  • Paid a minimum of 5 weeks after you make your claim (and your previous benefits will only continue for 2 weeks after you have made your claim).

The Government is looking to move people who are currently claiming legacy benefits such as housing benefit onto Universal Credit by 2024.

You don’t need to do anything until you’ve received a Universal Credit ‘Migration Letter’ from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Once you’ve received the letter, you’ll have 3 months to make your claim for Universal Credit.
The notice tells you:
– The need to claim Universal Credit instead
– The ‘deadline day’
– What happens if you don’t claim in time
– Other information about how to claim Universal Credit, joint claims, couples, etc.

Every case is different.  It may be you’ll be better off under Universal Credit and we strongly recommend that you get in touch with us so we can assess your entitlement and support you before this happens.

The Tenancy Sustainment Team are here to help and can give you advice in readiness for this change. You may be missing out of extra money at the moment but if you are going to be worse off on Universal Credit we can help explain the ‘Transitional Protection’ you may be entitled to and help you prepare.

Transitional Protection is a top-up payment so you do not lose out because of the introduction of Universal Credit. It means that, in cash terms, you cannot receive less than your current benefits for a certain period of time.  

Please visit www.gch.co.uk/budget and click on our online calculator to complete a self assessment. If you would like some help with this please call the team on 01452 833217. You can also email the team at tenancy.sustainment@gch.co.uk

Once you make a claim under the managed migration rules, you’ll also keep getting your current benefit paid for 2 more weeks if you remain eligible for your current benefit at the time of claiming.

This only applies if you’re getting:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit

You will not need to pay back the extra payments and they will not affect the Universal Credit you might get.

Your transitional protection may end through the following means:

  • Your UC award increases to reach the same amount you were receiving from the benefits it replaced, or
  • Your UC entitlement decreases to nothing, or
  • You have a significant change of circumstance

You can find further information here:

What is Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection? – Turn2us

We would strongly recommend you don’t miss your deadline date.  The DWP may extend (at discretion) the deadline by 1 month.

If you claim after the final deadline:

  • Your legacy benefits will stop immediately.
  • You aren’t able to get transitional protection
  • Your Universal Credit won’t be backdated

Under Universal Credit, you’ll receive benefits in one lump sum, paid monthly.  In the past your local council may have paid your housing benefit straight to us.  Under Universal Credit, this is paid to you.   Most of our tenants pay by Direct Debit.  We can set up a Direct Debit with you so that when you receive your housing costs from Universal Credit, a Direct Debit is set up to collect what you need to pay in full.

If you are on Universal Credit – you have to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support via your Local Authority

You can find more information here:

Help to get online

For anyone needing help with getting online or basic computer skills, please get in touch with our Enhanced Support Coaches.

Key things to remember

  • 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.
  • Please notify us as your landlord when you have made a claim for Universal Credit.
  • You will need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support with the council.