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Universal Credit

Over the next 5 years Universal Credit will replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

How it may affect you

  • You’ll need to apply for and manage your Universal Credit (UC) claim online
  • You’ll no longer receive benefits on different days. You’ll receive one larger payment, paid directly into your bank account once a month
  • This one payment will include the amount for your rent (if you previously received Housing Benefit your rent will no longer be paid directly to us) so you’ll need to pay this to us directly. Setting up a Direct Debit is easiest.
  • If you’re a couple living together and both of you are claiming UC, you’ll generally receive one joint monthly payment
  • UC is paid in arrears. That means it takes a minimum of 5 weeks before you receive your first payment, so you’ll need to have some savings to get you by while you’re waiting. If you think you'll struggle during this time or if you're already behind with your rent please contact us now

What you need to do

When you find out you're moving onto UC get in touch with us. We can help you make your claim.

  • Make sure you’ve got access to a computer or smart phone
  • Set up a bank account if you don’t already have one - let us know if you need help with this
  • Try and make sure you’ve got some savings to cover your rent, food and other essential costs while you’re waiting for your first UC payment
  • Start thinking about how you will budget monthly

When will this happen?

It’s already available across Hertfordshire and you'll need to claim UC if you're a:

  • Single person who would otherwise have claimed Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Couple or family with up to 3 children with the Bedford, St Albans, Watford or Hatfield Jobcentre Plus offices

If your circumstances change

If you receive any of the benefits replaced by Universal Credit and your circumstances change (such as a change in wages, a partner moving in, a child born etc) you’ll be moved onto UC.

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