Expansion of Universal Credit – Full Service roll out
Universal Credit has been operating within Flintshire since April 2014 (Live Service) providing financial support for low-income households who would normally have claimed Job Seekers Allowance.
However from April 2017 Universal Credit being expanded to all new claimants which is known as ‘full service’ Universal Credit and is replacing the following six legacy benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
This means that you are not able to make a claim for Housing Benefit, but you will be able to claim Universal Credit. The amount of Universal Credit you can get depends on your circumstances and income. Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a basic 'standard allowance' and any extra amounts that apply to you. You can get more money to help pay your housing costs, how much you can get depends on your circumstances.
Please note that if you are living in supported housing your claim for Universal Credit will not include any housing costs. You will need to claim Housing Benefit from the local authority.
For more information please visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit
This occurs when you report a qualifying change of circumstance to your legacy benefit. Here are some examples of when you will move over to Universal Credit:
- You are a lone parent in receipt of Income Support and your youngest child turns 5 or permanently leaves the household
- You become responsible for a child for the first time
- You stop working due to sickness
- You move address into a full service area
- You are claiming tax credits and separate from your partner
For more information on a full list natural migration criteria please visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit
How do I claim Universal Credit?
The government expects almost everyone to claim and manage their Universal Credit online. To claim universal credit you must set up a universal credit account to complete the application, you will also manage your ongoing claim online through this account. You will therefore need regular online access to keep your circumstances up to date and ensure you are paid correctly.
Universal credit accounts are designed to work equally on desktop pc’s, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
To set-up and maintain your account you will need the following:
- an email account which you use and access regularly
- to complete an online form entering a range of personal data
- the ability to create and upload documents such as your CV
- to scan or take images of evidence and upload these to your account
Please click on this link to watch a video explaining how to claim Universal Credit;
Help with rent
The housing costs element of Universal Credit which replaces Housing Benefit for tenants, will be paid direct to you, rather than being paid to your landlord as is the case for many existing Housing Benefit claimants. However, those tenants who need budgeting support or who get into rent arrears after a month or two, can have their rent element and rent arrears paid direct to the landlord, for a temporary period.
How is Universal Credit paid?
To receive Universal Credit you will need an account with a bank, a building society or a credit union. Post Office card accounts may be too limited for Universal Credit.
Extra help and support under Universal Credit
The government recognises that the move to a single monthly household payment will be a significant change to the way most benefits are currently paid and has introduced the Alternative Payment Arrangements scheme which provides the following help on a temporary basis if you are identified as needing additional support:
- Paying the housing element of Universal Credit as a Managed Payment direct to the landlord
- More frequent than monthly payments
- A split payment of an award between partners
Personal Budgeting Support
You will also be offered Personal Budgeting Support if you are deemed vulnerable and needing money advice to help you to cope with managing your money on a monthly basis and paying your bills on time. You can receive support at any time once your claim for Universal Credit has been made. Please click this link to complete a Budgeting Support Form.
If you have any further queries contact the Welfare Reform Response Team on 01352 704848 or email at email@example.com.
Digital Assisted Support
You can access help with making a claim online, updating your account and reporting change of circumstances. Our staff have been trained to provide help and support in needed and this is available in any of our Connects Centres.
If you live in the following post code areas please note that Chester Job Centre Plus will not be accepting Universal Credit Full Service claims until 19th July and Rhyl Job Centre Plus will not be accepting claims until 11th April 2018. If you have any questions please contact your local Job Centre Plus office.
- CH1 6
- CH4 8
- CH4 0
- CH8 7
- CH8 8
- CH7 5
- CH8 9
- LL18 6
- LL19 9
Families with two or more children
Important facts - during the period 6 April 2017 until November 2018
- Universal Credit will no longer pay an additional amount for a third or subsequent child or qualifying young person1 born on or after 6 April 2017, unless certain exceptions apply.
- Claimants with three or more children will not be able to make a new Universal Credit claim – unless the claimant has been in receipt of Universal Credit within the previous six month period and is making a reclaim (during this period claimants are not able to claim legacy benefits).
- New claimants with three or more children may be able to claim other benefits.
- From 6 April 2017, the first child premium will only be payable for a household responsible for a child or qualifying young person born before 6 April 2017.
- Claimants will be entitled to an additional amount for at least the number of children or qualifying young persons born before 6 April 2017 that they are responsible for.
- Claimants will still be entitled to additional support in respect of any disabled children, even if they aren’t getting an extra child amount of Universal Credit for the disabled child.
- Claimants may still be entitled to help with childcare costs for any of their children, even if they do not receive the additional child amount of Universal Credit for all of their children.
- Passported benefits for children will not be affected (free school meals etc).
- Child Benefit will continue to provide support for families, regardless of the number of children or qualifying young persons in that household.
- To ensure claimants don’t miss out on what they are entitled to, they should continue to report the birth of a child and any changes in their circumstances involving children or young people.
Please click on the link below for further information.
Universal Credit 2 child policy
Discretionary Assistance Fund
Please click on the link below for further information.
Council Tax Support
Please note that Universal Credit does not include any help towards your Council Tax costs. Therefore you will need to apply for Council Tax Support online.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are payments that may be made by the Council to people that are receiving Universal Credit (Housing Element), but who may still need further financial help with their housing costs. Please click here to apply.
Free School Meals
You may also be entitled to Free School Meals if you claim Universal Credit. Please click on this link to apply.
To see if you're entitled please click on the link to go to the Universal Calculator.
To understand some more about the online claim process for Universal Credit please click on this link.
Please see also UC and You which will open an attached document that will provide some more understanding on what Universal Credit means for you.
For further information and to apply for universal credit please visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit.
If you need any further support or advice, please email The Welfare Reform Response Team at WRRT@flintshire.gov.uk