Universal Credit

Universal Credit went live in Newcastle-under-Lyme on 20 April 2015 and closed on 31 December 2017.  This means that new claimants from 1 January 2018 onwards must claim Housing Benefit by completing an online claim form here.  However, Market Drayton Jobcentre Plus went live with Universal Credit on 9 May 2018 so certain claimants living in postcodes TF9 2 and TF9 4 will be directed to claim to Universal Credit instead of benefits listed below.  Universal Credit 'full service' will go live in Newcastle-under-Lyme in December 2018.  If you are unsure which benefit to claim please contact the Benefits Office on 01782 715500 or your local Jobcentre Plus.

Universal Credit combines six benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work.  Universal Credit will be responsive – as people on low incomes move in and out of work, they will get ongoing support, giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available.

Applications will be made online.  Universal Credit claims need to be made using the internet, but Jobcentre Plus has said that if someone can't do this then they may be able to offer help. You should get in touch with your jobcentre first, but there are other places where you might be able to get help or be able to use a computer to make a claim. When you make a claim you may find that you're asked to take information into the jobcentre to support it. It's really important that you do supply everything you need to support your claim, because if you don’t your claim may be delayed, or you could lose money. Reporting all changes will need to be done online soon as well.

Universal Credit will be paid monthly, directly into your bank or building society account, so you may need to be ready for a change in how often you get paid.  If you're making a new claim, you may have to wait up to five weeks before you get paid. Universal credit will include the money for your rent. It will no longer be paid through Housing Benefit from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council; it will be paid directly to you. This means you'll have to pay your rent to your landlord.

Are you ready for Universal Credit?  Try this simple test on the DWP website to see what you might need to do to be ready.

For further information about Universal Credit including who is eligible, how to make a claim and more please visit the GOV.UK website.  There is also a dedicated Universal Credit website which will help you to understand what Universal Credit means for you.

Last updated 25 May 2018

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