Universal Credit

Introduction

Universal credit is part of the Government’s Welfare Reform. It is a new benefit that has replaced 6 existing benefits with a single monthly payment if you are out of work or on a low income.

Details about Universal Credit can be found on the Understanding Universal Credit Website.

Universal Credit has replaced –

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Hyndburn became a full service area on 14 February 2018.

Universal Credit Full Service

What are the main changes?

Universal Credit (full service) was introduced in Hyndburn in February 2018 and will be available to all working age claimants with the exception of people in temporary or supported accommodation, and those who are entitled to the severe disability premium within one of the following benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income support
  • Jobseekers  Allowance income based
  • Employment Support Allowance income related

After 14 February 2018 all claims to Housing Benefit (see exceptions above) and other legacy benefits will stop and all claims must be made to Universal Credit. You will need to make your claim online

  • Your Universal Credit will be paid directly to one person in the household each month
  • Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and you will then pay your landlord yourself directly.
Working and Claiming Universal Credit

There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you receive Universal Credit.  Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more and you will not lose all your benefits at once if you are on a low income.

Your Claimant Commitment

You will have to accept a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to get Universal Credit.

This is an agreement that you will complete certain tasks in order to claim Universal Credit.

What you agree to do will depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get work or increase your income.

How to claim

You can claim Universal Credit online

If you do not have access to a computer, there are a number of places across the borough where you can use a computer for free with making your claim online.

These are available at the following locations:

Help to claim – Citizens Advice

Help to claim is a national service supporting people to make Universal Credit claims – from initial claim to first payment.

The Citizens advice are available as follows:

Monday

General advice/Help to Claim drop-in 10 am -1 pm

Help to Claim appointment pm

Pre-booked appointments for other services

Tuesday

Pre-booked appointments for other services

Wednesday 

General advice/Help to Claim drop-in 12.30 pm – 3.30 pm

Help to Claim appointment am

Pre-booked appointments for other services

Thursday

Help to Claim drop-in only 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Pre-booked appointments for other services

Friday 

General advice/Help to Claim drop-in 10am – 1 pm

Help to Claim appointment pm

 

The following telephone numbers can be used for advice about Universal claims.

UC Help to Claim freephone – 0800 144 8 444 Monday – Thursday 8am – 6pm

Adviceline – 0300 456 2552 Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm

The following link will take you to the Citizens advice website about Help to claim.

https://carh.org.uk/index.php/pages/universal-credit-help-to-claim

How you will be paid

Universal credit is paid differently from current benefits.  It will be paid once a month, usually into your bank or building society account.