Universal Credit is a new government means tested benefit that provides help to working age people who do not have enough money to live on. It is gradually being introduced across the country and will not affect everybody straight away.
Who will it affect?
From February 26, Universal Credit will start to be rolled out in Northumberland but it will only affect single people, of working age who do not have children and are making what would have been a new claim for jobseekers' allowance.
If you're already claiming benefits, you don't need to do anything. You will be advised when any changes will affect you.
Universal Credit will replace:
- income Support
- income-based jobseekers' allowance
- income-related employment and support allowance
- housing benefit
- working tax credit
- child tax credit
The benefit will be paid to households, rather than individuals in one monthly payment straight into a bank, building society, credit union or post office account.
What does this mean for paying rent?
If you are entitled to help towards your rent, this money will now be included in your Universal Credit payment and paid directly to you. You will need to make a separate claim for help towards your council tax.
This means that you will be responsible for paying your rent and making sure that you don’t fall into arrears.
How to claim for Universal Credit
The main difference with Universal Credit is that the vast majority of people will have to make their claims and manage any changes to their application online.
Alternative arrangements may be considered for individuals unable to use an online account, but this will only be in exceptional cases. There is no paper claim form available.
If you require help to complete your online application or with managing your budget you can get support at your Jobcentre Plus office.
You can also contact:
Universal Credit helpline
0345 600 0723
Northumberland County Council customer services
0345 600 6400
PLEASE REMEMEBER AT THE MOMENT THE CHANGE ONLY APPLIES TO NEW CLAIMANTS WHO ARE SINGLE AND HAVE NO CHILDREN.