What is Universal Credit Click to get info
Universal Credit is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit delivered by Job Centre Plus. It's a single benefit which replaces several in and out of work benefits with a monthly payment for people of working age. This includes:
- housing benefit
- income support (IS)
- jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
- income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- child tax credit
- working tax credit.
For many people it covers housing costs, so they don’t have to make a separate Housing Benefit claim.
You’ll still need to claim Housing Benefit if you:
- have three or more children and are not currently in receipt of Universal Credit; or
- live in Specified accommodation
What we mean by specified accommodation
There are four categories of specified accommodation. This is accommodation in which the claimant has been placed, in order to meet a need and receive care, support or supervision.
Category 1 – Supported Exempt Accommodation
For universal credit, supported exempt accommodation is a resettlement place or accommodation provided by a non- metropolitan county council (in England), housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation.
The organisation providing the accommodation or person acting on their behalf must provide the claimant with care, support or supervision.
Accommodation that is provided by one of the following in which the claimant has been placed in order to meet an identifiable need for care, support or supervision and where he receives that care, support or supervision:
- county council
- housing association
- registered charity
- voluntary organisation
Accommodation for victims of domestic violence where they are managed by:
- Local authorities
- County councils
- Housing associations
- Registered charities
- Voluntary organisations
Hostel accommodation provided by local authorities where the following is provided:
- supervision (are Pension Credit age)
From April 2018 you will also have to claim Housing Benefit if you are living in Temporary Accommodation
What we mean by temporary accommodation
- housing arranged by a LA because they have decided that the tenant is homeless
- in all cases the accommodation must be allocated by the LA or by a social housing provider through arrangements made with the LA.
From April 2018, if you are living in Temporary Accommodation and are in receipt of Universal Credit, this will stop and you will need to make a claim for Housing Benefit to receive help with your rent.
Even if you claim Universal Credit, you can still claim Council Tax Support and free school meals from us.
Changes to paying rent with Universal Credit Click to get info
Under Universal Credit, money for your rent will be paid once a month directly into your bank account, rather than direct to your landlord.
You can pay your rent in several ways, but you’ll also need to budget and plan to pay your rent on time. You will need to set up these arrangements with your landlord.
Your community assistant, Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) officer, housing manager or social worker will be able to help with managing your rent account under Universal Credit.
The Money Advice Service has a guide to help you get to grips with paying your rent including a budget planner and tips on how to manage your money.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau will also be able to help with budgeting and pointing you towards other sources of advice and support.
Landlords: Universal Credit and rented housing
Find out how Universal Credit will affect you if you’re a landlord and have tenants who get Universal Credit by reading the guide below.
Universal Credit and rented housing – frequently asked questions (Word doc, 215KB)
How to make a claim for Universal Credit Click to get info
You’ll need to complete an online form and have a bank account as UC is paid directly into your bank account.
The Money Advice Service has a useful guide and video to setting up a bank account if you don’t have one.
The online form must be completed in one go to be submitted, so make sure you have all your details to hand.
You’ll need to know the following details to complete your application:
- your postcode
- your National Insurance number
- details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
- your tenancy agreement
- your most recent rent statement
- details of your savings or other capital
- details of any income that’s not from work (e.g. details of any other income)
- details of any other benefits you’re getting
Your social worker or job coach etc will be able to help you with details of local services that provide internet access if you don’t have access to the internet at home.
Other benefits changes Click to get info
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 saw the abolition of:
- Council Tax Benefit
- Some elements of the Discretionary Social Fund
- Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment replaced Disability Living Allowance for disabled people aged 16 to 64.
Other changes included the introduction of a benefit cap and reduction in Housing Benefit if you have more spare rooms than the Government says you need.
If you’re worried about the changes, find out what support is available.
Access to self-service and public PC’s Click to get info
You can use our self-service or public PC’s in the following areas from 18 May 2015.
Self-service PCs, no time limit, access link to UC application form
|North Chingford Library||
|Higham Hill Library||
|Wood Street Library||
|Lea Bridge Library||
|Hale End Library||
|Job Centre Plus Walthamstow||
UJ, email, CV and cover letters
|In the community|
|Turning Point||PCs available for clients using the service for substance misuse issues (18yrs old and over) |
|Walthamstow Youth Hub||
|Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service||PCs available for adults 19+|
|Priory Court Community Centre||PCs for use by residents|
Contact Click to get info
If you don’t know whether you’ll be affected, give us a ring or visit our local support hub at:
Phone: 020 8496 3000