Universal Credit is a benefit for people who are on a low income or are out of work. It is a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through the Job Centre Plus.
If you’re already claiming benefits you don’t need to do anything - you’ll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
Universal Credit replaces the following benefits:
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Employment and Support Allowance
You should apply for any other benefit separately, this includes Local Council Tax Reduction and Discretionary Housing Payments which should be claimed from Sandwell Council.
If you are of working age you will need to apply for Universal Credit rather than Housing Benefit. However, there are the following exceptions where you should still claim Housing Benefit:
- If you live in exempt or temporary accommodation (as defined by Sandwell Council)
If you are already claiming benefits you don't need to do anything - you'll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
The way that you claim and manage your Universal Credit will be new.
The changes include:
- Universal Credit must be claimed online
- It will be paid as a single monthly payment, transferred directly into a bank account.
- If you are entitled to help towards your rent (this used to be your Housing Benefit) this will be included in your single monthly payment and you will need to pay your landlord yourself.
For more information:
Visit the gov.uk website or contact the Universal Credit helpline - Telephone: 0345 600 0723.
For support with claiming Universal Credit please contact our Welfare Rights team.