Universal Credit

A new type of benefit, for working age people only, called Universal Credit (UC) was introduced in Wolverhampton in February 2016.  It brings together the main out of work benefits:

  • housing benefit
  • income support
  • job seekers allowance
  • income related employment and support allowance
  • child tax credit
  • working tax credit.

It is paid once a month in arrears into your bank account.

It was introduced mainly for single unemployed people from 8th February 2016.

As housing benefit will be included in Universal Credit you will need to pay your rent yourself.

You will need to apply for and manage your benefits on line and you will also need to open a bank account or credit union account ready for Universal Credit to be paid into it. 

The general migration to UC will be between July 2019 and December 2023 but it won't be an automatic process you will have to apply.  However if in the meantime you are on legacy benefits and your circumstances change you may need to apply for UC.

We are concerned that the roll out of the full service will present many challenges and could see widespread economic hardship for some.  For support and advice go to www.universalcreditwolverhampton.co.uk/ 

Under UC young single people aged 18 to 21 years will not be able to claim help towards their rent although there are some exceptions.

Under UC full service you will be expected to apply on line at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

If you need help contact the UC service centre on freephone 08003285644 or at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

It could take 5 weeks for your first payment of UC to be made so if this will cause hardship you may apply for an advance payment by ringing the UC Service Centre however any advance will have to be repaid from future UC payments.

In certain circumstances if you are struggling to pay your rent you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) from the Council but normally a DHP will only be awarded for a temporary period.  The money the Council has for DHPs is limited and there is a lot of demand.  You can apply for a DHP by ringing 01902 55 1166.

UC does not replace Council tax reduction so should you need help with your Council tax apply direct to the Council.

You can get more information about UC and details of where to go for help at -

http://www.universalcreditwolverhampton.co.uk/ 

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