Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work, and replaces six existing benefits. Stroud is a Full Service Universal Credit area.
Universal Credit replaces housing benefit, income support, job-seeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, child tax credits and working tax credits (NB. this does not include contribution-based JSA and ESA). Instead of receiving different benefits you'll receive just one monthly payment to cover all of them. It will be paid into your bank or building society once a month.
When it comes to your rent, this is included in your Universal Credit payment. Currently, the government may pay housing benefit rent directly to your landlord – be it a private landlord, a housing association or the council - but if you’re moved on to Universal Credit it will be up to you to manage your monthly finances and ensure that you pay your rent to them on time. For some people this will be a big change.
Does it affect me?
From 4th October 2017:
If you’re a new benefit claimant you’re likely to receive Universal Credit (full service).
If you're already claiming benefits, you're unlikely to be affected unless your circumstances change.
If you’re a pensioner you won’t be affected - you’ll carry on receiving existing benefits as normal.
How to make a claim
Find out everything you need to know about Universal Credit full service and how to claim online at GOV.UK. (Remember! - you are looking for the details for "full service" as the website also covers the limited version called live service.) You will need access to the internet to check any emails and to be able to log into your account.
You may find it easier to make your initial claim on a desktop PC or laptop rather than your smartphone. If you need to access a PC and you do not need any assistance then you can do this here at the Council, in the library or at the Job Centre.
If you are a landlord, there is more information about Universal Credit full service and what it means for you at Universal Credit and rented housing.
You can also watch a short video below, which guides you through the process.
Universal Credit frequently asked questions
Key Universal Credit FAQs.