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
Get help applying for Universal Credit
Our Help to Claim service can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from the application, through to your first payment.
Help to Claim is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice. It’s free, independent and confidential. Our trained advisers can help with things like how to gather evidence for your application or how to prepare for your work coach appointment.
Call us for free: 0800 144 8 444 (England) or 08000 241 220 (Wales)
We will carry out an assessment to help decide the next step, this could include advice, signposting or an appointment to see an adviser
Hyndburn: New Era Centre, Paradise Street, Accrington, BB5 1PB
Monday 10am – 1pm
Wednesday 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Friday 10am – 1pm
Rossendale: Stubbylee Hall, Stubbylee Lane, Bacup, OL13 0DE – pre-arranged appointments only throughout the valley
Complete an online form: https://carh.org.uk/index.php/contacts
For online advice visit: citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim
If you’re a local organisation working with people who need help applying Universal Credit get in touch with us on 01706 252012 for more information on how you can signpost or refer people to our service.
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.
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.