Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new welfare benefit in the United Kingdom that will, when implemented, replace six of the main means-tested benefits and tax credits. Universal Credit is part of a wider Government agenda around personal responsibility. You will be responsible for managing your claim and your Housing Cost element so it will not be paid direct to Equity Housing Group.

What does it all mean?

Universal Credit is replacing:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance.

If you are claiming these benefits, in time, you will be moved over to Universal Credit. Alternatively, if you make a new claim for benefits then you may be told to claim Universal Credit.

For customers it will mean:

  • Claiming on-line instead of in person or over the phone
  • Stricter rules and greater responsibilities in order to receive your payment
  • Payments into a bank account, Post Office account or Credit Union Account
  • Less frequent payments so you'll receive it once a month instead of fortnightly or four weekly
  • Claiming Council Tax Support separately with the Council
  • Severe sanctions if you miss an appointment or fail to look for work.

Universal Credit is normally paid once a month into your bank, building society or credit union account. If you do not have one of the above, it is best to look at opening a new account in preparation for Universal Credit or discussing what other options are available with your job centre work coach.

People that are eligible for Universal Credit are usually on a low income or out of work. You can find out if you are eligible by visiting https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/before-you-apply/Check-if-youre-eligible-for-Universal-Credit/

You will need to apply for Universal Credit online. You can do this as a couple if you and your partner live together (you do not need to be married), and will then need to attend an interview arranged after your initial application is received. For more information please visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit

At Equity we have a dedicated Money Advice team ready to help our customers and have helped over 300 so far. You can give us a call Monday to Friday from 9-5pm on 0300 123 4460 or email us on moneyadvice@equityhousing.co.uk we’ll be here to answer any questions. If you are calling outside of working hours, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.