As part of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act (the Government's changes to the benefits system) a new payment system known as "Universal Credit" is being introduced that will bring about fundamental changes to how people's benefits are paid.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit replaces a number of benefits including Housing Benefit with one single monthly payment for your household.
Universal Credit will replace the following payments:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
All other benefits will continue as now. Don’t forget that if you get help with your council tax you will have to claim that separately from your Local Authority.
If you and your partner have children, you can earn some money before it affects the amount of Universal Credit you receive. This is called the 'work allowance'. Watch this video to find out more.
If you and your partner are under pensionable age and eligible for Universal Credit, you will receive one payment for both of you. This payment will then be paid to you monthly in arrears.
How do I claim Universal Credit?
You can apply for Universal Credit online via the Gov.uk website here.
Take a look at this short video for some top tips about what you need to make a claim:
You might also need to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. You’ll be told if you need to after you apply.
You’ll get your first payment around 6 weeks after applying online if your application is successful.
What is happening to Housing Benefit?
Instead of getting Housing Benefit you will get a housing element as part of your Universal Credit payment. You will need to use this housing element to pay your rent. This housing element will no longer be paid directly to your landlord, but will be paid straight to you. This means that you will become responsible for paying your rent on time.
How will Universal Credit be paid to me?
It will be paid monthly into your bank so you will need to open an account if you don’t already have one to receive Universal Credit payments. If you don’t have a bank account, find out more the different accounts you can open here.
We recommend that you open a separate bank account to receive your Universal Credit payment. This way, your payment won’t be mixed up with your current cash.
How can I pay my rent to Bromford?
It is very important that you pay your rent and it is paid on time. You do not want to get into debt. The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit. To find out more on how to set up a Direct Debit, click here.
Once you have set up your Direct Debit, you can ask us about changing the date you pay your rent to the day you receive your Universal Credit payment. This will mean that your rent will come out of your account the same day you receive your Universal Credit payment.
If you have any money worries or debt problems please contact us. We have a team of people who can alleviate any money concerns you may have.
How will I manage my Universal Credit payments?
Your Universal Credit payments will need to be managed online. You may be reading this online, but you will need regular access to the internet in order to claim and manage your payments.
If you don't own a computer or laptop, you can get online for free at most local libraries. Your local library may also run a course on how to use a computer and the internet if you haven't before or if you need to brush up on your skills. Find your local library here.
When will Universal Credit start?
Universal Credit is being rolled out nationally and will soon be here for everyone.
Universal Credit FAQ
If you've got some more queries on Universal Credit, check out our FAQs.
Preparing for Universal Credit
There are different ways you can help prepare for Universal Credit. Find out more by clicking here.