Universal Credit (Welfare Benefit Reform)

Universal Credit is replacing all of the following benefits;

  • Housing Benefit (for working age claimants)
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income based)
  • Income Support

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out nationally and will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.  From 23rd March 2015, in Tamworth, most new single Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) claimants will have to claim Universal Credit instead. The roll out dates for couples and families in Tamworth is not yet known.

Any help with rent costs will be included in the Universal Credit calculation and will not be paid as Housing Benefit.

You do not need to do anything if you are already claiming Housing Benefit or any other benefit listed above – you will be told when Universal Credit will affect you.  

Work while you claim Universal Credit

There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you receive Universal Credit. Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more and you will not lose all your benefits at once if you are on a low income.

Your Claimant Commitment

You will have to accept a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to get Universal Credit. This is an agreement that you will complete certain tasks in order to claim Universal Credit.

What you agree to do will depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get work or increase your income.

How to claim

Go to https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit to make a claim

Contact the helpline if:

  • you have any questions
  • your circumstances change and you’re already getting Universal Credit

Universal Credit helpline - Telephone: 0345 600 0723

What about Housing Benefit for older people?

Universal Credit is a working age benefit. If you or your partner have reached State Pension Credit age, you must claim Housing Benefit via the Council to help meet your rent payments. Go to www.gov.uk/state-pension-age to check your State Pension Credit age. To claim Housing Benefit, click here

How you will be paid

Universal Credit is paid differently from current benefits. It will be paid once a month, usually into your bank or building society account.

If you live with your partner and both claim Universal Credit you will receive a single payment that covers you both. Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and you will then pay your landlord yourself.

Contact the Benefits Team on 01827 709540 or email benefits@tamworth.gov.uk to get help budgeting and planning for Universal Credit.