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Universal Credit

The Government is changing the way benefits are worked out, claimed and paid.

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 different benefits on different days. You’ll receive one larger payment, paid directly into your bank account once a month
  • This one payment will also include the amount for your housing (your rent will no longer be paid directly to us by the council) so you’ll need to arrange for this to be paid to us
  • 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 can take a few weeks before you receive your first payment, so you’ll need to have some savings to get you by while you’re waiting

What you need to do

  • Make sure you’ve got access to a computer or smart phone
  • Set up a bank account if you don’t already have one
  • 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 would budget monthly. We can help. Just contact us

When will this happen?

It’s already available across Hertfordshire for:

  • Single people who would otherwise have claimed Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Couples and families through the Bedford, St Albans, Watford and Hatfield Jobcentre Plus offices

Universal Credit will be made available for couples and families through the following Jobcentre Plus offices during 2018:

  • Hertford, Letchworth and Stevenage from 3 October 2018
  • Hemel Hempstead and Borehamwood from 5 December 2018

If your circumstances change

From the day Universal Credit is available in your Jobcentre, if your circumstances change in a way that affects your benefits (such as a change in wages, a partner moving in, a child born etc) you’ll be moved to Universal Credit.

If your circumstances don’t change you’ll move onto UC by 2022.