Expansion of Universal Credit
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit has been operating in Flintshire since April 2014, providing financial support for low-income households who would normally have claimed Job Seekers Allowance.
From April 2017, Universal Credit is being expanded to all new claimants which is known as ‘full service’ Universal Credit and is replacing the following six benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit.
How can I claim Universal Credit?
The government expects almost everyone to claim and manage their Universal Credit online.
To claim Universal Credit you must set up a Universal Credit account online. You will manage your ongoing claim online through this account, so you'll need regular online access to keep your circumstances up-to-date and ensure you are paid correctly.
Universal Credit accounts are designed to work equally on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Help with rent
The housing costs element of Universal Credit which replaces Housing Benefit for tenants, will be paid directly to you, rather than being paid to your landlord as is the case for many existing Housing Benefit claimants. However, those tenants who need budgeting support or who get into rent arrears after a month or two, can have their rent element and rent arrears paid directly to the landlord, for a temporary period.
How do I receive my Universal Credit?
To receive Universal Credit you will need an account with a bank, a building society or a credit union. Post Office card accounts may be too limited for Universal Credit.
Extra help and support
The Government recognises that the move to a single monthly household payment will be a significant change to the way most benefits are currently paid and has introduced the "alternative payment arrangements" scheme which provides the following help on a temporary basis if you are identified as needing additional support:
- Paying the housing element of Universal Credit as a "managed payment" directly to the landlord.
- More frequent payments than just once a month.
- A split payment of an award between partners.
Personal budgeting support will also be offered to you if you are deemed vulnerable and needing money advice to help you to cope with managing your money on a monthly basis and paying your bills on time.
For any further information, please visit the Universal Credit website.
If you need help or have any questions, you can also contact Local Connects offices which are located in Buckley, Connah's Quay, Flint, Holywell and Mold. They can offer help on how to make an online claim. There are PCs available to use free of charge.
More information on Flintshire Connects offices can be found here.