Universal Credit is a new benefit for people who are on a low income or are out of work. It is a benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through Job Centre Plus. It is being introduced in stages across the country.
Universal Credit aims to make the welfare system simpler by replacing six benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment. It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers.
Universal Credit replaces:
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
You can use the checklist below to prepare for some of the welfare reform changes.
- check whether you have to pay because you are under-occupying your property by checking the bedroom entitlement
- check whether you will be affected by the benefit cap
- set up a basic bank account in preparation for Universal Credit
- download our budget planning sheet or use an online budget planner to help you budget
- set up direct debit to pay rent now or in the future
Universal credit has been introduced to Croydon and has replaced housing benefit in certain circumstances and a range of benefits for working age people. Whether you claim Universal Credit or Housing Benefit will depend on your postcode and your personal circumstances. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are responsible for administering Universal Credit.
From 6 April 2017 families with 3 children or more will no longer be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit and will have to make a claim for Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. This change affects families making a new claim for Universal Credit.
If you are already in receipt of Universal Credit and have three or more children you will continue to claim Universal Credit. If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and have 3 or more children you will remain on Housing Benefit.
Apply for tax credits at https://www.gov.uk/claim-tax-credits/how-to-claim.