The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) introduced Universal Credit Live Service in May 2015 and a further roll out to Full Service will be introduced in the Falkirk and Grangemouth Job Centres from 21 March 2018.
This means that working age benefits will be changing for some new claimants.
What is Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. Claims must be made online and payment from DWP will normally be made monthly, in arrears, to one person in the household directly into a bank account.
Universal Credit will eventually replace financial help currently received from:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment & Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
What do I have to do?
From 21 March 2018, anyone wishing to make a new claim for any of the 6 benefits listed above will have to claim Universal Credit.
You must apply online at www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
You can use the computers at your local Job Centre and library.
The DWP have provided a helpline if you wish to speak to one of their advisors (open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm:
Do you rent your property?
You will need to tell the DWP how much your rent is so that they can calculate what your housing cost element will be. This will be paid direct to you as part of your Universal Credit payment and you will then need to use this money to pay your rent.
If you are a Council tenant, you will need to pay your own rent from your Universal Credit payment. Find out how to pay your rent.
From 21 March 2018, Universal Credit claimants in the Council area will be able to ask for their rent to be paid direct to their landlord and can also ask for payments to be made fortnightly instead of monthly.
Further assistance with Rent Payments
If your Universal Credit award includes housing costs (rent) but it does not cover the whole of your rent charge, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with the shortfall.
Council Tax Payments
Anyone on a low income that needs help to pay their Council tax must make a separate application for Council Tax Reduction.