Universal Credit – Are you Ready?
The Government is changing the way benefits are paid. These changes will affect our customers in different ways depending on such things as age, who lives with you and the types of benefit you receive.
If you have any questions our Income Management team are here to help you, contact us via the links below.
Universal Credit is a new benefit designed to support people who are on a low income (including employment) or out of work. It will replace six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the U.K.
Universal Credit will replace:
Universal Credit will NOT replace:
* This means that if you apply for Universal Credit you must apply separately for help to pay your Council Tax. Please contact you local Council, as local schemes apply.
Which Gwalia Customers are currently affected?
Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Powys, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the Vale of Glamorgan have gone live with Universal Credit.
How is Universal Credit Paid?
Universal Credit will be paid in to your bank, building society or credit union account monthly in arrears. You will have to wait five weeks for your first payment and you may not be paid anything for the first week. Your monthly payment will include two elements:
- Your “personal element” will replace your state benefit, for example, Jobseekers Allowance
- Your “housing element” will replace your Housing Benefit
IMPORTANT: If you receive Universal Credit it is your responsibility to pay the whole of your rent
How to claim Universal Credit
Applications for Universal Credit will be expected to be made online. It takes approximately 40 minutes and must be completed in one go. After you have submitted your claim you will be contacted by telephone to visit your local jobcentre for an interview with your Work Coach. You will be expected to take with you proof of your rental liability – tenancy agreement, latest rent increase letter and statement of your rent account.
If you do not have these please contact the Income Management Team on 0800 012 1080 and we can send them to you.
At the interview be honest about any rent arrears and debts you have. It might be possible to have an Alternative Payment Arrangement – a more frequent payment, an advanced payment, a payment split between partners or payment of the “housing element” direct to your landlord.
Before Universal Credit can be paid you will be expected to have a bank/building society/credit union account and an e-mail address, register for Universal Jobmatch and create an up-to-date CV.
What do I need to do?
- Think about what you will live on for the first 5 weeks
- If you have not already done so open a bank/building society/credit union account
- If you do not have the skills to make an on-line application seek advice about training
- Sign up to an e-mail provider
- Manage your household budget using a planner
- Keep proof of any debts you have
- If your rent account is not at least one week in credit make additional weekly payments until it is
- Contact the Income Management Team on 0800 012 1080 for advice and support