Universal Credit to roll out in Southwark from September

The government has been gradually introducing Universal Credit (UC) as a new single payment since 2013. Universal Creidt replaces a number of existing working age benefits including:

  • Housing benefit
  • Income based jobseeker’s allowance 
  • Income related employment and support allowance 
  • Income support 
  • Child tax credits 
  • Working tax credits

If you currently claim the above benefits you will be gradually moved onto universal credit by the end of 2017.

What’s different about universal credit?

The main differences between Universal Credit and the current 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 unemployed

  • Most people will apply online and manage their claim through an online account

  • As people on low incomes move in and out of work, they will get ongoing support

  • 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 rather than to their landlord

What should you do?

You can keep up to date with the latest information through the government website .

Please note the government intend to write to you to invite you to make a claim for universal credit when necessary.

How will universal credit affect pensioners?

Under the existing system, people over the qualifying age for pension credit can receive housing benefit and tax credits.

From around a year after the launch of universal credit, they will no longer be able to apply for these benefits.

At this point, pension credit will be changed to include:

  • A new element called housing credit, for pensioners who are eligible for support with rent

  • An additional amount for dependent children in the guarantee credit element

Online claims

Universal credit will be digital by default, meaning that you will need to claim online. Wherever possible, the government wants you to notify them online of any relevant information and changes of circumstance as soon as possible after the change occurs.

Help and support will be on hand for people who may find it difficult to use the online system. This help may be in a high street outlet or via a telephone service.

If you require more support, face to face help and a telephone service will be available and an adviser will complete an online form on your behalf..