Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit for people of working age. It aims to make it easier for people claiming benefits to move into work, and to make the benefits system less complicated.
It is a single benefit that will replace the following benefits for people who are in or out of work:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
Making a claim
From 25 July 2018, if you need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits you will need to claim Universal Credit. You can apply at www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim.
There are exceptions to this and these are listed below, if you are in one of these groups you need to apply for Housing Benefit.
- You are in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) or have been in receipt of SDP within the last month
- You are housed in temporary accommodation by Bromley Council
If you are already in receipt of any of the six benefits above you will remain on that benefit until you have a significant change in your circumstances
If you are already on Universal Credit you will remain on Universal Credit. If you need to advise Universal Credit of a change in your circumstances you should report the change by signing onto your Universal Credit account or by contacting them on 0800 328 9344
How does Universal Credit work?
- It will only be paid once a month into a bank, building society or credit union account.
- People who rent their home and are claiming Universal Credit will receive help with their rent in their Universal Credit payment because of this they will need to pay their landlord themselves.
- Claimants who live with their partner, if they are both eligible, will get one monthly joint payment.
- It can take several weeks after a claim is made to get the first payment.
- It must be claimed online, or in certain limited circumstances by phone
- If you cannot make a claim online, please contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644
Council tax payments
Universal Credit does not assist with your Council Tax payments. You must apply for Council Tax Support separately.
Universal Skills - is an easy to use step by step guide for Basic IT skills and everything you need to know about Universal Jobmatch and Universal Credit processes and payments. You need to be a library member and can access at home or any internet enabled computer.
- Universal Credit and rented housing - guidance for landlords.
UC Discretional Housing Payment (UCDHP)
Discretionary housing payments are paid from a limited amount of money that central government gives to us every year. We can pay it to people with special financial or personal circumstances which indicate that they need extra help to pay their rent. We have to consider each case individually and on its own merit.
A DHP is not automatically awarded because your housing benefit does not cover your rent. DHP is not a benefit. It is a separate payment made at our discretion. Payments are usually made for a limited period to assist whilst the claimant seeks a longer-term solution.This could include obtaining cheaper accommodation, obtaining employment and/or increasing the number of hours worked.
Download and complete the Universal Credit discretionary housing payment application form