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Universal Credit - Are you Ready?

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new,  simpler, single monthly payment for people of working age which brings together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now, whether you are in or out of work.

Universal Credit will replace:

When does Universal Credit start and who does it affect?

Most people won't be affected to begin with. At the moment Universal Credit only affects newly unemployed people or those that have a change of circumstances that would prompt a change of benefit. Boston began its rollout of the Live Service on 13 April 2015 but this was only for certain groups of people. If you are already claiming one or more of the benefits listed above you should carry on claiming as normal. You will be told when you need to do anything differently.

As part of the 2017 Autumn Budget Announcements claimants will be unable to submit new claims to Universal Credit in a Live Service site from midnight on 31st December 2017. Instead they will be directed to claim one of the legacy benefits listed above until the Full Service is rolled out. Boston is currently a Live Service area.

Universal Credit Full Service, which will be the digital by default way of claiming and managing your Universal Credit on-line, is due to roll out in Boston from September 2018.

Even if you're not affected straight away there are things you can do now to make sure you are ready for Universal Credit.


So what's different about Universal Credit?


Did you know that Universal Credit is a single, monthly payment into a bank account? You will need to have a bank account set up and ready to accept any payments you may receive in the future.

Universal Credit is paid in a different way to current benefits:

Click on the following link to get more information: How to have your Benefits Paid

Managing your Universal Credit claim online

In time Universal Credit will be managed online. At the moment you make your claim online and any changes you need to report will need to be phoned through to the service centre. The Full Service will require you to manage your claim on-line and this includes reporting any changes in circumstance. It is advisable to think about getting Internet ready now and looking at your options for accessing and managing online.

Click on the following link to make a claim: Apply for Universal Credit

Working and claiming Universal Credit

There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you're claiming Universal Credit. Instead, the amount you'll get will gradually reduce as you earn more, so you won't lose all your benefits at once.

Changes to Universal Credit Since 1st April 2016

Changes to the Scheme from April 2017 including the budget announcements in November 2017

For more information on Universal Credit and how you can be ready for the changeover you can go to the Department of Work and Pensions website where there are lots of useful fact sheets and videos for you to watch. If you are a Landlord you can also find some useful information on how you may be affected.

Click on the following link to find out more about Universal Credit: Universal Credit

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service can also provide you with further help on budgeting and planning for Universal Credit. There is also advice on the bank accounts available to be able to receive your benefits.

Click on the following link to go to the Money Advice Service website: Money Advice Service

Social Landlords

If you are a Social Landlord the DWP have produced a useful guide which can be found using the following link: Social Landlord Support Pack