- Category: Benefits
- Last Updated: 16 February 2015
Universal Credit was introduced in 2013 to a small number of Councils and Job Centres and is slowly being rolled out across the country. The full introduction of Universal Credit in the U.K. will be phased over a number of years but details remain unclear.
Universal Credit is part of the government’s Welfare Reform agenda. It is a new benefit replacing six existing benefits with a single monthly payment. The benefits that Universal Credit is replacing are;
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
The Government’s intention in introducing Universal Credit is to make the transition from benefits to work significantly easier. ‘Universal Credit will dramatically simplify the process of applying for different benefits as people move in and out of work or between jobs, eliminating the insecurity caused by gaps in income. Because the system will be simpler, it will also be much easier for people to understand how much better off they would be if they were to move into work.’
When does Universal Credit start in Ryedale?
From 16 February 2015 all single people of working age, living in Ryedale, who are new claimants of Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) will have to claim Universal Credit from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), digitally. They will receive a single monthly payment of Universal Credit which will also include their housing costs, previously paid by Housing Benefit from the council.
Single people claiming Universal Credit who need help with paying their Council Tax will have to complete a separate application for Council Tax Support, although the DWP will provide the Council with information that they have gathered for their Universal Credit claim to allow this to happen.
Claiming of other types of welfare benefits is unchanged and Housing Benefit will remain for tenants who are not single job seekers from February 2015. The roll out of Universal Credit to other customer groups will be phased and details remain unclear. However, once a single Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) customer is receiving Universal Credit they will remain on Universal Credit even if they move into a relationship or have children.
How will the council support you ?
The government recognises that there are customers who need help to claim Universal Credit and to report changes in circumstance on-line and who are new to monthly budgeting. Councils will provide the support needed to manage this transition process.
The DWP will work with the council and their partners to provide Universal Support – Delivered Locally (USDL).
This partnership will deliver:
- supported on-line access
- personal budgeting support
- support from the DWP Universal Credit Service Centre on housing issues
The council is working in partnership with the DWP and other organisations to ensure that it delivers the help with claiming Universal Credit that some residents will need.
What is different about Universal Credit?
The main differences between Universal Credit and the current welfare system are:
- Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work
- most people will apply online and manage their claim through an online account
- Universal Credit will be responsive, as people on low incomes move in and out of work, they’ll get ongoing support – giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available
- most claimants on low incomes will still be paid Universal Credit when they first start a new job or increase their part-time hours
- claimants will receive just one monthly payment in arrears, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary
- support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment
- some employers will report changes in their employee earnings directly to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenues & Customs, using Real Time Information software (RTI) meaning that for some claimants Universal Credit could be recalculated automatically when earnings go up or down
Payment of Universal Credit
Anyone claiming Universal Credit will receive just one monthly payment in arrears, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary. Support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment.
Claiming Universal Credit
Most claims for Universal Credit will be made online via the government's Universal Credit website. Claim Universal Credit by following this link
You can access computers at the Job Centre, Council Offices or at your local library.
If you have difficulty accessing a computer or need support to complete the online form we can help. Contact us on 01653 600666 for further details of where you can access facilities or receive support to complete your claim.
Click here if you are a landlord and want to know more about Universal Credit.