Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age. It combines support for adults, children, and housing costs into one benefit. Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears and replaces:
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
If you are Pension age, you will not be affected by Universal Credit and should still claim Housing Benefit.
If you pay Council Tax and want to claim help with this you should make a claim with the Council.
What happens if I am already receiving Housing Benefit?
You do not need to do anything if you are currently receiving Housing Benefit. If your entitlement to Housing Benefit ends and you have to make a new claim you will need to claim Universal Credit, this includes if you move outside of the district and your new address falls under a Universal Credit area.
What should I claim - Housing Benefit or Universal Credit?
You need to apply for Universal Credit if your postcode starts with and you are making a new claim for Housing Benefit:
- CB21 4
- CB10 1
- CB10 2
However, you should claim Housing Benefit if you
- Have 3 or more children,
- Live in supported accommodation
- Live in temporary accommodation due to homelessness
Universal Credit full service is scheduled to go live in the rest of the district from 17 October 2018.
Remember if you have reached Pension age you should continue to claim Housing Benefit.
What do I need to do to make sure that I am prepared?
Access to the internet - Universal Credit is claimed and managed online. There is no paper form and everything is always done online.
A bank account - You will need a transactional bank account in order to receive your Universal Credit. There is further information on bank accounts for benefit payments on the money advice service website.
Budgeting - Universal Credit is only paid monthly, so you must make sure you budget your money so that it lasts your household for the whole month. You can find online budgeting tools on the money advice service website.
Rent - Direct debit or Standing order - Universal Credit pays your housing costs (rent) directly to you as part of your Universal Credit which means you are responsible for paying that money to your landlord. Setting up a direct debit or standing order to pay your rent is the best way to make sure it is paid on time.
How do I claim Universal Credit?
You can check if your postcode is in a Universal Credit area and make an application on the Universal Credit website.
If you do not have reliable online access, you will need to go to your local library, Citizens Advice office, or we can help you at the Councils’ offices in Cambourne.
There is a Universal Credit helpline which is available. You should contact the helpline if you have any questions or your circumstances change and you're already getting Universal Credit
The Universal Credit helpline is: Telephone: 0345 600 0723
How do I find out more about Universal Credit?
You can find out more about Universal Credit by clicking on one of the below links.
How do I get help paying my Council Tax?
Local Council Tax Support for help with paying your Council Tax is still administered by the Council and is not part of Universal Credit. Therefore you need to make an application to the Council even if you do receive Universal Credit.
Universal Credit and Landlords
The DWP has issued guidance for landlords whose tenants receive Universal Credit.