Universal credit and other benefit changes
Universal Credit was launched in Tandridge in February 2016. Universal Credit is a new, simpler, single monthly payment merging together some benefits and tax credits you may receive. Initially only single individuals applying for Job Seekers Allowance will claim Universal Credit. Over the next two years it will be rolled out to households in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit.
Universal Credit will be managed online through the Department of Work and Pensions. You will need to claim online and check payments and updates through your online account.
Who will be affected?
Initially single individuals eligible for Job Seekers Allowance including those with housing costs and who are making a new claim will instead be able to claim Universal Credit. This will be paid in one single monthly payment.
You should contact your local Job Centre if you think you may be affected. Alternatively click here Is your Job Centre Offering Universal Credit to see if your job centre is offering Universal Credit?
Universal Credit will not be paid in the same way as current benefits. Instead:
- It will be paid monthly into an account you choose.
- If you get help with your rent (housing benefit), this will be included in your monthly payment – you must pay your landlord yourself.
- If you and your partner are both eligible, you will get one monthly payment for the household.
Universal Credit will generally be managed online. You can make your claim online, then check on your payments and updates through your online account.
Preparing for Universal Credit
Follow some simple steps to get ready for Universal Credit.
Other changes to benefits
Other benefit changes already introduced that can affect the amount of Housing Benefit you receive include:
- Under occupancy - housing benefit for working age people renting from local council, registered housing associations or other registered social landlords, is based on the number of people in the household. Use the bedroom calculator or visit Gov.uk
- Benefits cap – there is now a limit (cap) on the total amount of benefit a household can receive, based on those aged under 65 in it. The limit is £257.69 per week for a single person without children, or if your children don't live with you, and £384.62 for couples or single parents with children. For more information visit Gov.uk, call the Department for Work and Pensions on 0845 605 7064 or textphone 0845 608 8551.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – this replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people with a health condition or disability aged 16 to 64. Visit Gov.uk, call 08457 123 456 or textphone 08457 224 433.
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) – this is available to those entitled to a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) of 50% or higher through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. For more information call the Services Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) helpline on 0800 169 2277.