Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs.

It 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 (DWP) to help with your living costs if you are working age and on a low income or out of work.

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 your circumstances. 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. For current information please visit GOV.UK Universal Credit.

If you / and your partner are both pensionable age you will continue to claim Housing Benefit.

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.

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?

Our teams are available to support and help with:

  • Offering advice on who to contact with claiming other welfare benefits that you may be entitled to.
  • Helping you complete your claim for Council Tax Support.
  • Signposting you to agencies offering personal budgeting support to help you to manage your money.
  • Providing online access in our offices at Pippbrook in order to help you complete your Universal Credit claim.

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.

If you wish to claim Discretionary Housing Payment help with Universal Credits, in the first instance you should contact the Benefits Section on 01306 879187, or email benefits@molevalley.gov.uk to request an 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

If a tenant gets into difficulty paying their rent, the landlord can apply for an alternative payment arrangement (APA) managed payment to landlord (MPTL) which will be considered by DWP on a case by case basis.

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.