As part of the welfare reforms the Government has introduced Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will eventually replace 6 existing benefits for people who are out of work or on a low income. It is being introduced in stages across the country, and applies to most working-age claimants in Bath and North East Somerset from 25th May 2016.

Universal Credit will eventually replace:

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

Council Tax Support is still provided by local councils and is not part of Universal Credit. 

Do I need to do anything?

If you’re already claiming one of the benefits listed above you’ll be told when you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

For new claims, the majority of working-age people in Bath and North East Somerset will now need to apply for Universal Credit. Use the Universal Credit postcode checker on the GOV.UK website to find out whether you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit.  

People of pension age are not affected and can still apply for Housing Benefit.

How Universal Credit is different

Universal Credit will be paid differently to current benefits. You'll get a single payment for your household and it'll be paid once a month into your bank, building society, Post Office or credit union account. If your Universal Credit payment includes rent you'll need to pay this to your landlord yourself. For more information on what this means visit the Universal Credit website, set up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

How to claim Universal Credit

You will need to apply for Universal Credit online via on the GOV.UK website.

If you don’t have access to the internet you can visit the Bath One Stop ShopThe Hollies, Midsomer Norton, the Keynsham One Stop Shop or any local library in Bath and North East Somerset.

Make sure you have the following information before you start your online application:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance Number
  • your email address
  • details of the bank, building society or credit union account you want Universal Credit paid into
  • your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that’s not from work, for example from an insurance plan
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • details of any children, including their Child Benefit numbers

Need help or having problems claiming online?

Call the Universal Credit Helpline.

Telephone: 0345 600 4272
Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Useful links

The Daily Jobseeker - help with tips & tricks around CV writing, interview skills, job search and much more.

Universal Credit, Better Off In Work Calculator - find out a rough estimation of what you might be entitled to under Universal Credit, and whether you’d be better off in work.

Benefits calculators GOV.UK - independent benefits calculators through GOV.UK to find out: what benefits you could get, how to claim, how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

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