Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces a number of other benefits including Housing Benefit. After the 15th May 2019 working age includes couples who have a change and need to make a new claim unless both are pension age.
Working age people who live in Rutland will need to apply for Universal Credit instead of other benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit (there are some exceptions). You will need to make a separate claim to us for Local Council Tax Support.
To find out if you should apply for Universal Credit you can check on the citizens advice website.
For more information and to make a claim go to the Gov.uk website
If you are a pensioner, you can still apply for Housing Benefit.
Claiming Universal Credit
You will need to claim Universal Credit online. You can do this on a computer, tablet or a smart phone. If you don’t have access to one of these or you need some help please contact us.
You will create a Universal Credit account. You will use your account regularly to contact your work coach, view your ‘to-do’ list and your journal. In order to create your account you will need:
- An email address
- A mobile phone number
- A bank , building society or Credit Union account
You will also need to verify your identity as part of your application. You can do this online or you will be asked to bring identify documents to your first interview i.e. a passport or a UK photo driving license.
You will be asked to call to book an interview. It is important that you do this straight away, if you don’t, you might have to start your claim all over again and you could lose money.
Receiving Universal Credit
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears. It will include an amount for your rent called ‘housing costs’ so you will have to pay your landlord directly. If you get behind with your rent, you need to speak to your landlord as soon as possible to arrange to pay what you owe. You can also claim a Discretionary Housing Payment if your housing costs aren’t being paid in full by Universal Credit.
If you are finding it difficult to manage a monthly payment or you have debts that you are struggling to pay you may need some budgeting support. Please tell your work coach who can arrange this for you.
Getting help to apply for Universal credit
The Citizens Advice Help to Claim service can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from the online application, through to support with your application before your first full payment.
It’s a free, independent, confidential and impartial service provided by trained advisers from Citizens Advice. They can help with things like how to gather evidence for your application or how to prepare for your work coach appointment.
Call for free: 0800 144 8 444 (England only)
Get support online at citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim or face to face at Citizens Advice Rutland, 56 High Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AL
Drop in times:
Monday 10 am – 5pm
Tuesday/Thursday 10 am – 1pm
Wednesday/Friday 10 am – 4pm
Eventually Universal Credit will replace all of the following benefits:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support (IS)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
If you are currently in receipt of any of these benefits you will be notified when it is your time to move onto Universal Credit.