Universal Credit is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit delivered by Job Centre Plus. It's a single benefit, which replaces several in and out of work benefits with a monthly payment for people of working age. This includes:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support (IS)
- Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit in Herefordshire
Universal Credit is gradually being rolled out across the UK in stages. Herefordshire went live with Universal Credit on 13 June 2018 and you will need to apply for Universal Credit if:
- You are a new claimant
- You are already claiming benefits and have a change in your circumstances
You can only apply for Universal Credit online but support is available if you need assistance with making your online application.
You will need to have certain documents and information available to complete the form.
Universal Credit may cover housing costs, so in most cases you don't have to make a separate Housing Benefit claim. However, you'll still need to claim Housing Benefit if you:
- Live in supported or temporary accommodation or
- Are Pension Credit age
Council Tax Reduction is not covered by Universal Credit. You must apply separately.
Once the full roll out for new claims is complete, existing benefit claimants who have not had a change in circumstances, will be moved over to Universal Credit at some point between July 2019 and March 2023. Herefordshire has not been given a date for this at present.
Universal Credit can only be claimed online. If you are moving to Universal Credit from other benefits there are some changes in the way payments will be made to you. This may mean that you have to change the way you manage your budgeting and payments.
Citizens Advice offer digital assistance if you need help with making your claim online. You can find more information on their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim or by calling the freephone number 0800 144 8 444.