What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit that is paid to working age people on low income with low / no savings. It is paid whether they are in or out of work, a carer, sick and/or disabled, look after children or need support with housing costs like rent or mortgage.
UC will be extended to all new claimants of means tested benefits from 13 December 2017.
UC will replace Income Support, Income- Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income- Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
It will not replace the other benefits like contributory Jobseekers Allowance or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.
You may need to claim UC if you have a change in your circumstances that ends your current entitlement to benefits.
How is Universal Credit different from other benefits?
There will be no paper claim forms. Most claims will be made online.
No benefit entitlement for the first seven days at the start of your claim – known as ‘waiting days’.
Entitlement to benefit starts from the 8th day of your claim. You then enter an assessment period for one calendar month. After this your entitlement to benefit will be assessed and paid (6 weeks from date of claim).
Any change of circumstances within the assessment period will be backdated to
the start of the assessment period. You must tell DWP straight away within the same assessment period for any increase.
• Any decrease in entitlement will be backdated to the start of the assessment period that the change occurred in.
• Awards will be paid to one member of a couple.
• You will receive one monthly payment that includes an element for your rent. You will have to pay your rent to your landlord.
• You can ask about alternative payment arrangements.
• All claimants, including both members of a couple, will be placed in a work related conditionality group.
• Your claim will be managed online and communications will be via email / text.
• Claimants will have to complete an online journal to maintain their claim.
Get help to claim Universal Credit
Contact your local Job Centre
Free PC and WiFi access
Free WiFi is available in libraries
Free PC and tablet courses for beginners
Information for Swansea residents
Get access to a computer and get help in the
Civic Centre, libraries, Blaenymaes District
Housing Office (more DHOs soon) or from
your housing association
Free courses are available to help you get
online - ask in your local library
You will need to have a bank / building society account, post office or credit union account to receive your payments. Some banks provide free accounts.
Mobile phone number
Want to get text alerts about anything you need to do about your claim? If yes, you will need to give a mobile phone number
What do I need to claim UC?
Will I be affected?
If you or your partner are of working age and need to claim a means tested benefit for the first time after 13 December 2017, you’ll have to claim Universal Credit
If you already get a means tested benefit and your entitlement ends because of a change of circumstances you will need to claim UC. For example, you are getting Housing Benefit and your employment ends so you need to claim a benefit because you are unemployed
If you already get Universal Credit but made your claim before 13 December, you will be contacted between March - June 2018 so that your UC claim can be transferred over to the full digital service.
Who won’t be affected?
Anybody who does not claim UC
Those in receipt of a benefit who do not
have a change of circumstances
If you have three or more children you
will not be able to claim UC
Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and UC
Housing Benefit claims still need to be made if you claim UC and you live in supported accommodation.
You will need to claim Council Tax Reduction if you have to pay Council Tax.
Get further advice and support before you claim Universal Credit if:
You are a student
You are an EEA national
You get a disability benefit and have
your first child
You have recently been found fit for
work so your award of Employment and Support Allowance has ended, but you do not agree with the decision and are challenging it.
You need an email address to claim and manage your Universal Credit. If you do not have access to a computer or you need help to get online visit the Job Centre, Civic Centre, your local library, housing office or housing association
Applying for UC checklist
To make the application, you need to collect:
Your National Insurance (NI) number
If you have a partner, their National
Insurance (NI) number
Your email address
Your phone number
Your landlord’s name and address
Your rent details
Details of any children/relatives who live with you including their name, date of birth, age, income
Details of any savings
If you work, your wage before and
after tax, national insurance
deductions and pension contributions
Details of any other income you
Details of the bank account you want your UC paid into – name and address of the branch, account number and sort code.