Universal Credit

The Full Universal Credit Service has already began to affect some LYHA customers.

Universal Credit will replace:

  • income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income support
  • tax credits
  • housing benefit

​Currently only people making new claims or whose circumstances have changed will have been moved onto Universal Credit, but eventually it will affect all working age claimants.

It is important you are prepared for Universal Credit and what it will mean for you. 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 2783335 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 is a change to the benefit system which is being introduced in stages throughout the UK and is due to be fully introduced across all the UK by 2022.

It will eventually replace six existing benefits which 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 under state pension age. You can find out your state pension age here

You will not be affected if you are of Pension Credit age. If you already claim Pension Credit you should continue to claim this and Housing Benefit instead.

You can find out more about who is eligible for Universal Credit here

How often is it paid?

It is paid in a single monthly payment directly into your bank account. If you were previously used to receiving benefits more regularly, you need to make adjustments to your budgeting in order to ensure you can make the money last the month. 

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

The biggest changes that Universal Credit will bring are:

  • It is one single benefit payment, administered by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) 
  • Most people will have to claim online 
  • Most people 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 Leeds and Yorkshire. This means you will need to make arrangements to pay the rent to us, once it has been paid to you. 

 

What does it mean for me?

Most LYHA customers are not currently affected by the introduction of Universal Credit, because it is still mostly only claimed by newly unemployed single people. If you already get one of the six benefits that will be replaced by Universal Credit, you will carry on receiving these benefits until:

  • You need to make a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) 
  • Universal Credit is extended to other groups (Full Universal Credit Service). If this happens, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will notify those who will be affected. 

Is Universal Credit just for people who are unemployed?

No. It is a benefit for anyone on a low income. It does not matter whether you work, are out of work, or how many hours you work. It can also apply if you are a carer, have child care costs or if you are too ill to work.

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

It could be some time before you need to claim Universal Credit but to prepare you should: 

  • Make sure you have access to the internet: (People will make their Universal Credit claim online. We can help you get online if you need support. Click here). 
  • Open a bank account that enables you to set up Direct Debit payments, if you don't already have one
  • Ensure you have a Bank, Building Society, Post Office account or Credit Union account to receive your Universal Credit payments into 
  • Make arrangements to manage your money monthly. We can help you with this if you need. Click here to contact your Income Management Officer

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

 

Where can I get more information or advice?

You can visit the Government's Website for further information or click here to find contact details of our Income Management Officers who can 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.