With less than 150 days remaining until the introduction of Universal Credit in Wakefield, are you prepared?
About Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a new benefit that’s replacing six working age benefits with a single monthly payment, similar to a monthly working wage. The six benefits being replaced are:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Working Tax Credits (WTC)
- Housing Benefit (HB)
Universal Credit does not include assistance with your Council Tax. People claiming Universal Credit will still have to contact Wakefield Council to apply for Council Tax Support.
Universal Credit will be introduced in Wakefield for new single benefit claimants aged between 18-60 from 18th April 2016. People of pension age will not currently be affected. If you are unsure of when you will reach state pension age, the GOV.UK website provides a pension age calculator. You may still be affected however if you are not receiving Pension Credit and your partner is under Pension Credit age.
After new claims have been introduced for singles, couples and families across the country, existing benefit claims will then be moved over to Universal Credit from 2018. Universal Credit will be paid directly to one member of the household into a bank, Building Society or credit union account once per month, in arrears.
Are your tenancy details up to date?
Ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit, there are some simple things you can do to prepare.
If you currently have a joint tenancy where the other named tenant no longer lives with you, you may only receive up to half of your housing costs support in with your Universal Credit.
In advance of the roll out of Universal Credit, If you would like advice around updating your tenancy details and applying for a tenancy assignment you can contact our OneCALL team on 0345 8 507 507. Alternatively you can download a leaflet offering advice on assignments and successions.
Applying for Universal Credit
If you need to make a Universal Credit claim you need to apply online. If you would like help to get online, contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507 and ask to speak to our specially trained Digital Angels.
If you think you might find it difficult to budget under Universal Credit (receiving all your benefits on a monthly basis, in arrears) you can find out how ready you are via the Department for Work and Pension’s Universal Credit preparation tool. This DWP video also provides useful information about Universal Credit.
Further information on Universal Credit can be found on the GOV.UK website. You can also get helpful information to prepare for the new benefit, as well as budgeting support and advice on how to set up a suitable account to receive your Universal Credit payments on the new Cash Wise website.