Universal Credit

MoneyWorks – providing Personal Budgeting Support for Universal Credit

Universal Credit goes live in Newham from 25th July 2018. Below you will find some useful information about Universal Credit and how to apply, plus information on support you can access, including Personal Budgeting Support form MoneyWorks

 

Universal Credit explained

Universal Credit is a new benefit for working-age people, replacing 6 existing benefits (known as legacy benefits). It will merge them into one monthly payment, paid directly to you in arrears, and will be paid on the same date each month.

The date a claim is submitted is the date of the month the Universal Credit payment will be paid. This is called the assessment date.

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, so you will have to wait one calendar month from the date you submitted your application before your first payment is made. This is called the assessment period.

You will have to wait up to seven days for the payment to reach your bank account from the payment date. This means it can take up to five weeks before you will get your first payment.

 

Example

Ben has lost his job and makes a new claim for Universal Credit on 22 July.

This makes his assessment date 22 July. It means he will be paid on the 22 of each month.

He needs to wait one assessment period (that’s a calendar month) to 22 August because Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears.

He also needs to leave up to seven days for the money to reach his account.

He should expect his first payment of Universal Credit no later than 29 August.

If 29 August is a bank holiday Monday, he should receive payment on the last working day (Friday) before the holiday.

 

Universal Credit replaces 6 benefits

The 6 legacy benefits that Universal Credit is replacing are:

  1. Income Support
  2. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  3. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  4. Housing Benefit
  5. Child Tax Credit
  6. Working Tax Credit

 

Universal Credit is run by the government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This means you apply directly to DWP and only it can answer any questions you have about your application or case.

If you are already claiming one or more of these benefits you don’t need to do anything unless you are contacted by DWP. It's not automatically transferring people onto Universal Credit, so your benefits may not change unless you are making a new claim.

The council does not have access to your application or information, so you need to contact Universal Credit if you have a question about your application.

 

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is not included within Universal Credit payments and is still managed by the council. You must still make a claim for Council Tax Reduction directly from Newham if you have to pay Council Tax. ​​​

 

Who should claim Universal Credit

Only people making a new benefits claim need to apply for Universal Credit and, as with all benefits, there is eligibility criteria. If you are already claiming one or more of the 6 legacy benefits you don’t need to do anything unless DWP contacts you. No one is automatically being transferred onto Universal Credit, so your benefits may not change unless you are making a new claim.

 

Exemptions

There are some circumstances when you won’t be able to apply for Universal Credit if you are making a new benefit claim. In these circumstances you will still need to claim one of the six legacy benefits. These circumstances are if you are:

of pensionable age (unless your partner is of working age)

living in temporary accommodation, sheltered housing or a council hostel

in a household with three or more children (until further notice) or

Once you have claimed Universal Credit, you cannot go back to one of the six legacy benefits, even if your circumstances change. For example:

If you currently have two children and are claiming Universal Credit, you would remain on Universal Credit if you had a third child. You would not go back to legacy benefits.

 

Government support

If you have any questions about your application or Universal Credit payment, contact the Universal Credit helpline (the council does not have access to your account or your benefit information):

Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm on 0800 328 5644.

 

MoneyWorks - Personal Budgeting Support

MoneyWorks can provide you with help and budgeting advice on Universal Credit.

Support available includes:

  • Advice on managing your money
  • Welfare benefit advice
  • Debt advice
  • Support to make payment arrangements for debts
  • Help to get into work

The team is based at Unit 61, the Stratford Centre, London E16 1XF between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

020 8430 2041

[email protected]

Online help

 

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service provides lots of advice on Universal Credit including helpful tips on paying your rent and having the right bank account. You can also use its money manager tool to receive free personal information and advice to help your money go further.

 

Citizens advice

Citizens advice has advice for all stages of your claim. This includes advice on what you should do if something happens and your payments are reduced or stopped.

 

Benefit calculators

Benefit calculators can help show how you could be better off in work. There are independent sites online including:

Turn2us

 

Universal Credit

MoneyWorks providing budgeting support for Universal Credit Claimants