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Universal Credit

You can claim Universal Credit if you are on a low income or out of work

This is a new benefit that is being gradually introduced across the country. It replaces six benefits – Employment Support Allowance (Income based), Jobseekers Allowance (Income based), Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

Universal Credit Full Service is now live in all Somerset Jobcentres.

You can claim Universal Credit if you are on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit is a monthly benefit.

  • It is paid in arrears, and once established, it will be paid on the same date each calendar month.
  • Universal Credit will pay for children and for housing costs, so there’s no need to claim Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit, unless you live in supported or temporary accommodation.
  • If a couple need to claim Universal Credit, one single payment is made to the household and normally goes into the bank, building society or credit union account nominated by the couple.
  • There is no limit on the hours you work, your Universal Credit award will take into account any income you receive and taper accordingly. So, if your income goes up, the amount of Universal Credit paid reduces and if your income goes down, the amount of Universal Credit goes up.
  • For every £1 you earn, you can keep 67p.
  • If you or your partner are disabled or have health restrictions limiting the work you can do, and if you are responsible for a child or young person, you can earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit is reduced. This is called the work allowance.
  • If you claim Universal Credit and have housing costs, you will still need to claim Council Tax Relief Support from your local council.
  • Since April 2018 claimants can ask for an advance on their entitlement, of up to 100%, repayable over 12 months.
  • From April 2018, claimants already receiving Housing Benefit when they claim Universal Credit will receive an additional 2 weeks’ worth of Housing Benefit at the start of their claim.

If you are already on a benefit, for example Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance, and live in a Universal Credit Full Service area, you will remain on that benefit unless your circumstances change or DWP informs you to transfer your claim. In the Full Service areas Universal Credit will be applicable to any new claim that would have been made to the 6 benefits Universal Credit replaces.

Universal Credit is a digital service, claims are made and maintained online. Customers must have an email address, phone number and bank, building society or credit union account. For more information, or to make a claim, please visit the GOV.UK website.

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