Universal Credit is the new single monthly welfare benefits payment for people of working age, on low or no income. It replaces the six previous benefits below, bringing them together into one monthly payment:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
From July 2018, any Lewisham resident making a new application for benefits will have to apply online for Universal Credit.
The main changes
One of the biggest differences with Universal Credit is that instead of receiving weekly or fortnightly payments for different benefits, people on Universal Credit receive one monthly payment for all their benefits. This is paid directly to their bank account, so they need to budget for monthly rent payments, bills and spending.
As Housing Benefit payments will no longer be paid directly to landlords, residents will be responsible for paying their rent to Lewisham Homes out of their monthly Universal Credit allowance.
Pension Credit will also be changing. As Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit are stopping, Pension Credit will include additional amounts for dependent children and may include a new housing credit to help towards rent, however it’s not yet known when these changes will take effect.
How to claim for Universal Credit
You can make a new claim for Universal Credit online through the Gov.uk website.
To find out more about Universal Credit, including how much you can expect to receive, and whether you’re eligible to claim, please visit the Universal Credit section on Gov.uk.
If you are already receiving any of the benefits that Universal Credit is replacing, you will continue to receive these as usual. However, if and when there is a change in your circumstances, such as a new job, new address or a change in wages, it is likely you will be asked to claim Universal Credit instead.
How we can help you
For more support on moving over to Universal Credit, visit Preparing for Universal Credit.
You can also make the most of the Money Advice Service’s Money Manager tool for Universal Credit claimants below: