Universal Credit

Many LYHA customers now receive Universal Credit Service and eventually all working age benefit claimants will move onto this combined benefit. It replaces:

  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit​

It is important that you understand what Universal Credit will mean for you and the steps you'll need to take, so we have produced a short guide and claimant journey map to help you.

There are lots of sources of support including:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk 

www.gov.uk/universal-credit

www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

www.turn2us.org.uk/benefitscalculator

Our team is also on hand to help and answer any questions you might have. If in doubt, please call 0113 278 3335 and ask to speak to one of our Income Officers.

For more information, please see answers to Frequently Asked Questions below, or watch the video below..

 

Frequently asked questions

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit (UC) is a change to the benefit system which is being introduced in stages throughout the UK. The full roll out is due to be completed by September 2024.

UC will replace six existing benefits for all working age claimants. These are:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) 
  • Housing Benefit (HB)

 

Who is Universal Credit for?

Universal Credit is for people who are out of work or on a low income and aged between 18 years and state pension age. If you already claim Pension Credit you should continue to claim this and Housing Benefit instead. N.B. You can find out your state pension age here

To find out more about who is eligible for Universal Credit, please click here

How often is it paid?

Universal Credit is paid in a single monthly payment directly into your bank account. If you were previously used to receiving benefits more regularly, you may need to make adjustments to your budgeting. 

What is different about Universal Credit to the benefits I receive now?

The biggest changes with Universal Credit are:

  • It is one single benefit payment, administered by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) 
  • You will have to claim online 
  • You will be paid monthly, in arrears, into a bank account 
  • You will not be able to choose to have the part of Universal Credit that replaces Housing Benefit paid to us, your landlord. Instead, you will be responsible for paying all your rent to LYHA. This means you will need to make arrangements to pay the rent to us, once it has been paid to you. 

​If you have any questions about Universal Credit or benefits in general, please contact your Income Officer.

 

Is Universal Credit just for people who are unemployed?

No. It is a benefit for anyone on a low income (whether or not you work). It can also apply if you are a carer, have child care costs or if you are not able to work due to illness.

What do I need to do to get ready for Universal Credit?

Even though you may not have been transferred over to Universal Credit yet, you should take the following steps to prepare: 

  • Make sure you have access to the internet as you will be expected to make your Universal Credit claim online. If you need help with this, please click here
  • Ensure you have a Bank, Building Society, Post Office or Credit Union account to receive your Universal Credit payments into and which will also allow you to make Direct Debit payments
  • Make arrangements to manage your money monthly. If you need help with this, please contact your Income Officer

You can also click here to visit the Government website and find out more information about preparing for University Credit. 

 

Where can I get more information or advice?

You can view the latest government Universal Credit guidance, or your Income Officer will be able to offer advice on benefit payments, managing your money, ways to pay your rent, setting up a bank account and more matters related to Universal Credit.