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UNIVERSAL CREDIT

The Government’s welfare reforms will introduce a new Universal Credit providing both in and out of work support for working-age claimants. The new system aims to simplify the benefit system and increase work incentives for those who are unemployed or working part-time.

When will it start?

Universal Credit will be rolled out in phases and the first Universal Credit Claims in Glasgow began in June 2015.  Just now Universal Credit only affects single people in certain circumstances, see here for full details.  However by October it is expected that it will apply to single parents and other applicants.  We will keep tenants updated. 

How will I apply?

Claims will be made on the basis of households rather than individuals and one member of a couple will have to make a claim for both parties. Applications will be made online on the Government Universal Credit website.  It is expected that most queries about Universal Credit will be dealt with through this site. 

Our full-time Welfare Rights Assistant can also assist with any claims.  The online claim process must be completed in full (you cannot save the form and go back to it) so you should ensure you have all of the correct information before beginning.

Information required can be checked here.

Which current benefits will it replace?

  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income- Related Employment and Support Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and Carer’s Allowance will not be replaced by Universal Credit.

What will be included in the payment?

Components that make up the Universal Credit are:

  • The standard allowance
  • An amount for responsibility for children and young persons
  • An amount for housing (this is costs of renting your home and replaces housing benefit)
  • An amount for ‘other particular needs and circumstances’

How will it be paid?

Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears for most people. A couple making a joint claim will have to decide who will receive the single payment.
If you are claiming housing benefit now, you will be used to your benefit being paid direct to Easthall Park. This will change under the new system because in most cases you will personally receive the housing element of the new Universal Credit as part of your monthly payment. So you will need to make your own arrangements to pay your rent to us. There are many ways you can do this but the simplest is to set up a direct debit from your bank account.

What about people without bank accounts?

The Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) is looking at the range of financial products available for low income consumers and overcoming the barriers to opening accounts.

We can give you advice about setting up a bank account that will let you have direct debits - please contact us for more information.

A guide about what will happen when you claim Universal Credit can be found here.

 

Further help & guidance can be found online:

Universal Credit - how do you claim it? - Citizens Advice Scotland.

Universal Credit explained - Money Advice Service

GAIN : Universal Credit

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