Universal credit is part of the Government’s Welfare Reform. It is a new benefit that is replacing 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 is replacing –
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
When will this be available in Hyndburn?
Universal Credit in Hyndburn is being introduced in two stages: ‘live service’ which has been available from October 2014 to February 2018 and ‘full service’ from 14th February 2018.
Changes affecting claims from 1st January 2018
Between 1st January 2018 and 14th February 2018, new claims to Universal Credit (live service) have been stopped and any new claims for benefits will need to made to one of the relevant legacy benefits below:
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support;
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credits and/or Working Tax Credits
If you have claimed Universal Credit within the last 6 months, and are claiming again because your circumstances have changed, you may be able to reclaim Universal Credit. Please contact the DWP about your change in circumstances.
Universal Credit Full Service
What are the main changes?
After 14th February 2018 all claims to Housing Benefit 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:
Hyndburn Borough Council also have a scheme called ‘Hyndburn Digital Champions’ who are available to assist customers in situations like this.
Contact them on:
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.
If you live with your partner and both claim Universal Credit you will receive a single payment that covers you both.
Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and you will then need to pay your landlord yourself.