Universal Credit

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for people on a low income who are either in or out of work (including those who are looking for work or are unable to work due to health problems).

If you are already receiving benefits seek advice before making a claim to Universal Credit (UC) – you could be better off, or worse off, claiming UC. If having to make a new claim to benefits you may have no other choice than to claim UC (but see below).

Universal Credit:

  • Cannot be claimed if you are over the qualifying age for Pension Credit, unless you are part of a couple and one of you is under the age for claiming Pension Credit.
  • Replaces Income Support, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits, income based Jobseekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Must be claimed online (telephone claims can be made is exceptional circumstances) and claims will be managed online – you will need an e-mail address and a bank/credit union account.
  • Will be paid in one monthly payment, with the first payment not being received until 5 weeks after the initial claim (you can ask for twice monthly payments from the second month of a claim).
  • Will only be paid if you accept a “claimant commitment” which will detail your responsibilities while on UC, which may include attending interviews at the Jobcentre, looking for work, attending training courses etc.

If you are claiming Universal Credit you should:

  • speak to your Housing Officer to make arrangements to pay your rent as in most cases the housing element of UC will be paid direct to yourself and not your landlord.
  • contact us if you are worried about paying your rent as you, or PHA, can ask for the housing element to be paid direct to PHA.
  • make sure you are able to budget for your rent and other bills – we can refer you to a Money Advice agency for help with this.
  • make sure you are able to access the internet to manage your claim and have a bank/credit union account that your UC can be paid in to.

For further information on UC contact our Money Advice Office, Stephen Lawson, at slawson@partickha.org.uk or on 0141 330 1487 or 07972178368. Or go to www.gov.uk/universal-credit