What is Universal Credit?

Full Service Universal Credit in Islington

Universal Credit is a new government benefit for working-age people on a low income or who are out of work.  You can contact Citizens Advice for free impartial help on 0800 144 8 444. From 20 June 2018, most new benefit claimants in Islington, and some people who are on benefits, but whose circumstances change, will move to Universal Credit.

Others who are already receiving benefits will at some point be moved over to Universal Credit (probably by 2023) but the government has not yet told us when this change will start.

Universal Credit is run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Partners are here to help residents understand and prepare for the changes. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Universal Credit (UC) replaces six benefits:

Universal Credit is paid directly to the person claiming benefits, which means residents will become responsible for paying their full rent. Housing Benefit is no longer paid directly to a Council tenant's rent account, but is paid to the claimant as the housing element of Universal Credit - you must have a Bank Account to be able to receive this benefit. 

Shelter and The Money Advice videos explain the changes. 

What’s different about Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is paid differently to previous benefits and tax credits. It is a single monthly payment into a credit union, bank or building society account, and includes any money for your rent. You will need to pay rent to your landlord directly, and you will also need to pay any bills.

There is at least a five-week delay between applying for Universal Credit and getting your first payment, so start thinking about what you need to do now! The delay will be longer if your claim is incomplete.

You will need to apply separately for council tax support.

You can indicate that you want to claim council tax support when you make your claim for Universal Credit. Or, you can contact the Council directly to make a claim.  

How will Universal Credit work?

You will need to verify your ID online and get a bank account

You will need to get online

You will need to budget

Our friends at the Hyde Foundation have put together a very helpful site called Betteroff. Partners residents can use the site to help prepare for and manage their Universal Credit account.