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Universal Credit

You can claim Universal Credit if you are looking for work, are unable to work due to illness or disability, are caring for someone or if your wages are very low. See how much UC you could get by clicking here to do your own benefits assessment https://www.entitledto.co.uk. You can still work and claim UC because your monthly payments will reduce gradually as your earnings increase. If you’ve left your job it can be worth waiting for your final wages or holiday pay as this will count as income and you will get less in your first UC payment. You should apply if you’re only waiting for redundancy payment though as this won’t affect your first UC payment unless it brings your total amount of savings to over £6,000. If you have been self-employed for longer than 12 months then you will be affected by what the DWP calls the ‘minimum floor’ amount. For further details, click here  (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-self-employment-quick-guide/universal-credit-and-self-employment-quick-guide)

You will still need to claim Housing Benefit for your housing costs if you:

  • live in temporary or supported accommodation
  • receive a disability benefit and satisfy the conditions for a ‘severe disability premium’
  • are receiving State Pension (but if you’re claiming as a couple then both of you will have to be receiving your state pensions)

For further information on claiming Housing Benefit, click here https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit

If you claim Universal Credit as a couple, you and your partner will get one payment between the 2 of you. The payment is made up of a basic standard allowance and extra payments that might apply to you depending on your circumstances. You could be entitled to extra payments if you look after one or more children, work and have childcare costs, for your rent, if you have a disability or if you are a carer.

 

Want to apply for Universal Credit?

If you want to apply for UC, you will need the following information ready:

  • an email address and a phone number
  • your national insurance number
  • details of the account into which your claim will be paid
  • a breakdown of your weekly rent (if you’re not sure, give us a call)
  • details of any savings and other capital
  • details of any non-work income (for example income from an insurance plan)
  • details of any other benefits you already receive

Click here for a handy video on applying for UC (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDBaQKqY6OHYk6rn_FINwm6XXNkzeC6-7)

If you need help, you can call the ‘Help to Claim’ service run by Citizens Advice on 0800 1448 444 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Some locations have a drop in service, and you can find more information on the Citizen’s Advice website here (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/help-to-claim/).

If you can’t apply online because you:

·         have problems with your sight

·         have a long term physical disability or mental health condition which stops you from applying online

·         have a physical condition that stops you from using a computer or smartphone

·         can’t read or write

Then contact the Universal Credit helpline to ask if you can either apply by phone or arrange a home visit. You will be asked for more information to check you’re eligible for this service and will go through some of the application steps with you first:

  • Telephone 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone 0800 328 1344
  • Telephone (Welsh language) 0800 012 1888

If you’re on Housing Benefit when you apply for UC, you will get Housing Benefit for 2 weeks after you submit your claim and you won’t need to pay this back. As Universal Credit does not include help with paying your Council Tax bill, you must still apply for this online. Click here (https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-council-tax-discount) for further information

After you apply and have attended your JobCentre Plus appointments, it will usually take 5 weeks from the date you applied online to get your first Universal Credit payment. If you think you will struggle, you can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit while you wait for your first payment to come through. Remember though, that you will have to repay this out of your monthly UC amount over the next 12 months.

UC is paid directly to you each month, so you will need to budget your payments to pay your rent when you get your monthly payment. Click (here https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-to-budget-for-a-monthly-benefit-payment) for help on budgeting each month. You can also talk to your workcoach at the JobCentre who will refer you for personal budgeting support.

Your UC payment will include an amount for your rent (called ‘housing costs’ in UC) and you will need to pay ClwydAlyn the full rent due yourself.  We can ask the DWP for housing costs to be paid directly to us if you are in more than 2 months arrears so please talk to us about this. Additionally, if you are in debt, have rent arrears or struggle with your money then you can ask the DWP to pay the rent directly from your UC payment. Talk to your workcoach about this, or call the Universal Credit helpline free on:

  • Telephone 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone 0800 328 1344
  • Telephone (Welsh language) 0800 012 1888

After you’ve got your first payment, you’ll be paid monthly on the same date as the first payment.

 

Already getting Universal Credit?

If you are getting Universal Credit, you may be eligible for other support such as:

Help with health costs = https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/help-with-health-costs/help-with-health-costs-for-people-getting-universal-credit/

Free school meals = https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-04/free-school-meals-in-wales-information-for-parents-and-guardians.pdf

Funeral costs = https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments/eligibility

Warm Home Discount Scheme = https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/low-income

Maternity grant = https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant

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