Universal Credit

Find out how changes to benefits from 24 October 2018 may affect you.

Universal Credit is one single monthly payment replacing the following benefits:

•    Child Tax Credits
•    Housing Benefit
•    Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
•    Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
•    Income Support
•    Working Tax Credits

It is administered by the Department for Work & Pensions to help with your living costs if you are working age and on a low income or out of work.

The short video will help you to learn more about Universal Credit, how this works and what it will mean for you.

Am I eligible for Universal Credit and how to claim?

Universal Credit has been introduced in stages across the UK. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your circumstances.

From 24 October 2018 if you are working age within Mole Valley and have up to two children, you should first make a new claim for Universal Credit. To apply please visit GOV.UK's Universal Credit page or call 0800 3285644.

Those who are living in supported or temporary homeless accommodation will receive their housing costs through Housing Benefit. If you are pensionable age you will continue to claim Housing Benefit.

A step by step video on the application process is available.

Proving your Identity for Universal Credit

GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove who you are online and will speed up the process for claiming Universal Credit. It may remove the need for you to visit a Job Centre in person to prove who you are.

You need to have a UK address and in most cases it will take between 5 and 15 minutes to verify your identity the first time you use GOV.UK Verify.  The service checks your personal details against records held by mobile phone providers, HM Passport Office, DVLA or credit agencies. There's no effect on your credit score.

You can find more information at .

The short video will help you to learn more about GOV.UK Verify.

What can I do to get ready for Universal Credit?

You will need a need a bank or building society account for your monthly payments. You will also need to budget so that you can pay your rent, bills and other living costs for the whole month.

More information can be found at the Money Advice Service if you do not already have an account where Universal Credit can be paid into or require further help with budgeting. 

Need help and support with your claim?

Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to advise you on Universal Credit and payments. If you find it difficult to manage this new monthly payment please speak to your work coach. To find your local Job Centre Plus please visit GOV.UK Local Office Search.

If you need financial help before your Universal Credit payment is due and meet certain conditions, you can ask for an advanced payment from Job Centre Plus (not the Council) to help you manage through the first month until your Universal Credit payment is made. Please note that future payments will be reduced to pay for this advance.

Any help you get with your rent will be included within your Universal Credit payment and you'll then need to pay your landlord yourself.

Will Universal Credit cover my council tax?

Universal Credit will not provide financial help for Council Tax. You may be eligible to receive Council Tax Support if you are liable for council tax.

What other support can Mole Valley provide?

We can:

  • provide online access in our offices at Pippbrook to help you complete your Universal Credit claim
  • offer advice with claiming other welfare benefits that you may be entitled to
  • help you complete your claim for Council Tax Support
  • in certain circumstances offer personal budgeting support to help you to manage your money

Extra help towards your rent

Sometimes the Housing Element of Universal Credit may not be enough for you to pay your rent.

The Discretionary Housing Payment scheme may be able to help you. Each application we receive will be considered on it's own merits. Payments are made at our discretion if we believe you need extra short-term financial support.

To claim Discretionary Housing Payment help with Universal Credits (see 'Downloads') and complete a Universal Credit Discretionary Housing Payment Application form.

If you are already claiming any benefits

If you're already claiming any benefits that will be combined into Universal Credit, you don't need to do anything unless you have a significant change or need to claim one of these benefits. The DWP will also contact you when Universal Credit will affect you.

Information for landlords

The move to tenants receiving monthly household payments that include the Housing Costs Element of Universal Credit is a significant change compared to the separate Housing Benefit payments that have previously been paid.

Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) have been introduced to provide extra help for tenants:

  • where there's a risk of financial harm to the claimant or their family; or
  • In order to safeguard the claimant's home
  • APAs can be considered at any point during the life of a Universal Credit claim and can be requested by the claimant, their representative or the landlord. An APA can be made when:
  • a claimant has rent arrears totalling at least two month's rent
  • a claimant has continually underpaid their rent over a period of time and they currently have at least one month of arrears

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website on what Universal Credit means for Private Landlords and Housing Associations and applying for an APA.

Last Updated: 25/10/2018

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