Universal Credit merges a number of existing benefits into one single payment.
It replaces the benefits and credits, listed below, into a single monthly payment for people who are on a on a low income, in or out of work, or working flexible hours. It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers.
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Related Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
What are the main changes?
- Universal Credit applications are made online only – claim online now
- Universal Credit will be paid directly to one person in the household each month
- Any help with rent will be included the Universal Credit payment. It will be the responsibility of the claimant to pay their landlord.
When will Universal Credit begin?
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages and it is intended to be fully implemented by 2017, some people living in Barnet can claim Universal Credit from 02 March 2015.
Who is eligible to apply?
In Barnet only single people can apply for Universal Credit at the moment, if you meet the eligibility criteria set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
For people who do not meet the criteria and need to claim an existing benefit, in most cases this can be done online
Residents will need a basic bank account or an account with a Credit Union to claim Universal Credit.
Budgeting on benefits or low income can be challenging, anyone who thinks they may struggle to manage their money on Universal Credit or is already in debt, support is available from:
- The Welfare Reform Task Force who offer personal budgeting support including putting together a monthly budget, advice on maximising your income and getting a bank account with a direct debit facility or other helpful features for budgeting, contact the Task Force on 0208 359 2442
- MA (Money Advice Service) a free Government funded help and impartial advice service
- Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities
Help with claiming
If you do not have access to the internet you can use the computers at your local Jobcentre plus office or If you need some help to make the claim online you can either go into your local Jobcentre plus office or call us on 0208 359 2442.
If you have any queries about your claim you can call the Universal Credit helpline:
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743