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What is Universal Credit?


Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages and is being rolled out to some single claimants in the Wyre Forest area now.

Universal Credit will replace

  • Jobseekers allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

As Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit, help with your rent will be paid directly to yourself as part of your Universal Credit Award and no longer paid directly to your landlord.

Help with your Council Tax IS NOT included within Universal Credit. Therefore you will still need to

Apply for help with paying your Council Tax Bill

If you need help to pay your Council Tax you should

Apply for Council Tax Reduction Scheme

or you will still be responsible for paying your full Council Tax bill. You can also make a claim for Council Tax Reduction Scheme by visiting the Worcestershire Hub in Kidderminster.

Claiming Universal Credit

Whether you can claim Universal Credit will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Apply online for Universal Credit

Support is available to help you get online. If you haven't got your own computer, you can use one free of charge at Jobcentre Plus, the Worcestershire Hub in Kidderminster, or at your local library.

You need to be a library member to use the computers at the libraries. View more information on how to join a library.

Universal Credit payments

Universal Credit is paid monthly directly into the account you have chosen. If you are part of a couple, living in the same household and both of you are claiming Universal Credit you will receive one monthly payment. This will be paid into a suitable account of your choice, which could be a joint account or a single account in either your
name or your partner’s name. Other adults living in the same household who are claiming Universal Credit will be paid separately.

Monthly payments match the way most salaries are paid. If you are not used to managing your money in this way, a range of support services are in place to help you budget successfully. Your work coach at Job Centre Plus will talk to you about the types of help you may find useful.

You may also find the following websites to be of use;

Getting ready for Universal Credit

The Universal Credit Personal Planner can help you prepare for the changes the new service brings, such as paying rent to your landlord yourself. You provide the answers to some basic questions and it will tell you how ready you are for Universal Credit. It provides advice on what you need to do and the best sources of help. It will not tell you how much Universal Credit you will get as this depends on your circumstances when you claim.



Wyre Forest District Council