Universal Credit Advice
Universal Credit (UC) will bring about changes to how people of working age benefits are paid.
UC replaces a number of benefits including Housing Benefit with one single monthly payment for your household.
If you and your partner are eligible for UC, you will receive one payment rather than two.
UC will be paid straight to you. This means that you will become responsible for paying your rent on time.
Who can claim Universal Credit?
If you are of working age and making have to make a new claim for any benefit it is likely that you will have to claim Universal Credit. Universal Credit is replacing most working age benefits by 2023, if you are already on benefits you will remain on these until the DWP tells you to move onto Universal Credit. However, you may move on sooner if you have a change in circumstances.
However, there are some groups who are unable to claim Universal Credit and can still claim JSA, ESA, Income Support, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit: These groups are:
• People who currently, or within the last month, have been eligible for a Severe Disability Premium in their ESA, JSA, Income Support or Housing Benefit
• People over Pension age (In the case of couples one member of the couple has to be over Pension age)
• People who are responsible for 3 children (UNTIL 31st JANUARY 2019 ONLY)
A lot of people do not know if they are receiving a Severe Disability Premium, if you are unsure contact us on 0141 889 7105, we can give you advice on whether you should claim Universal Credit or not.
How will UC be paid to you?
It will be paid monthly into your bank account so you will need a bank account to receive Universal Credit payments.
If you do not have a bank account you can find out more from the Money Advice Service about choosing a bank account for your UC payment, or we have information on local branches which we can send to you.
We can also provide documents, such as your tenancy agreement, which can be used as ID for opening an account.
Your first payment of Universal Credit
You will have to wait for 5 weeks for your first payment of Universal Credit, if you need money straight away there are a number of options that you can use
1. You can apply for a Crisis Grant from Renfrewshire Council, you can do this over the phone by calling 0300 300 0204 (Option 2), in the Crisis Grant you can apply for money to help with food, gas and electricity.
You do not have to repay a Crisis Grant.
2. You can apply for an Advance Payment of your Universal Credit, this is repaid over 12 months. As you pay this back we would encourage you to only take what you actually need.
If you take a full advance payment this will include money for your rent and we will ask you to pay your rent from this.
3. We can also arrange for you to access the local Foodbank for emergency access to food.
Scottish Choices for Universal Credit Payment
From your Second Payment of Universal Credit you can choose the following variations on your Universal Credit payments.
• You can choose to have your Housing Costs paid direct from your Universal Credit directly to your us. Please tell us if you choose to do this.
• You can choose to receive twice monthly payments from the date your second months payment. (e.g. you will receive half a month payment on the date of your second monthly payment and just over 2 weeks
later you will receive the rest)
Help to manage your Universal Credit payments
You will have to make and manage your claim online
If you feel you need help to make your claim on line or to navigate your journal once your claim is made you can contact us for support.