Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age, in or out of work, which will replace six existing benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seeker's Allowance (Income-based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income-based)
- Working Tax Credits
- Child Tax Credits
You will receive one monthly payment made up of your Personal Element (to cover your essential living costs) and the Housing Element (to help pay your rent).
Answers to some commonly asked questions about Universal Credit can be found below:
When is Universal Credit coming to my area?
Universal Credit is being slowly rolled out across the country.
If you experience a change in circumstances and Universal Credit has been rolled out to your area, you may need to make a new Universal Credit claim.
Visit the Universal Credit Info website to check if Universal Credit has been rolled out to your postcode and for more information on who should claim Universal Credit.
Here are the start dates for Universal Credit in the areas Radian operates:
|February 2017||Southampton, Hedge End, Bursledon|
|June 2017||Salisbury, Amesbury, Mere|
|April 2018||Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough|
|May 2018||Basingstoke, Bracknell|
|July 2018||Winchester, Andover, Chichester|
|September 2018||Portsmouth, Cosham, Ringwood, Hythe, Lymington, High Wycombe|
|October 2018||Alton, Bordon, Guildford, Aldershot|
|November 2018||Fareham, Gosport, Havant|
Between 2019 and 2022 people still getting one of the benefits replaced by Universal Credit will be asked to claim Universal Credit instead.
How do I apply?
You will need to apply for Universal Credit online. If you don’t have online access at home, you will need to do this at a library, your local Job Centre Plus or a public access point.
The Universal Credit website can be found at: www.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/
You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You don’t need to be married.
After you apply, you must contact your local Jobcentre Plus within 7 days to make an appointment with a work coach.
What do I need to apply?
You will need the following information to make a Universal Credit claim:
- Address and post code
- National Insurance number
- Bank, Building Society or Post Office account details
- Current rent and service charge details
- Details of your income e.g. payslips
- Details of Savings, capital and any other income
- Name and address of landlord (Radian, Collins House, Bishopstoke Road, Eastleigh, SO50 6AD)
- Details of how much you pay for child care if you are applying for help with child care costs.
You also need to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of I.D for this such as:
- Driving licence
- Credit/Debit card
If you don’t have any of these or are unable to use the online service you will be able to verify you’re identity at the Job Centre.
How much will I get?
Your online account will detail how much you are going to be paid each month and show a full breakdown of how this has been calculated. If you do not have an online account you will receive a letter instead.
Check out the Universal Credit calculator for an idea of how much you may receive.
How often is Universal Credit paid?
Universal Credit will be paid monthly, on the same date each month. If you are making a new claim for Universal Credit, you can ask for an advance to help you budget in the first month. Speak to your work coach at the Job Centre when you receive your first appointment for more information.
What happens if I work and need to claim Universal Credit?
The DWP will directly receive details of your earnings each month from Revenue and Customs, and adjust your Universal Credit accordingly. If you earned less, you’ll receive more, and if you earned more, you’ll receive less. You should still inform the DWP as soon as possible after a change in circumstances to avoid any under or over payments. This includes household changes, income changes and any rent changes.
What about my rent increase letter? Do I need to tell DWP when my rent changes?
Yes, you will need to tell them yourself. If you have an online account you will need to report this by selecting the appropriate option on the home page.
If you do not have an online account you will need to call them on 0800 328 9344.
Will my rent be paid directly to Radian?
No. You will receive one payment of Universal Credit every month, including all the money to support you and your family, and the money to pay your rent. You will then need to pay your rent yourself out of this money. You will be responsible for ensuring your rent is paid. Radian expect rent to be paid in advance weekly or monthly. If you are concerned about your ability to pay rent, you can discuss this with the DWP or Radian to look at alternative payment arrangements - call us on 0300 123 1 567.
How do I pay my rent from my Universal Credit?
The easiest way would be to set-up a Direct Debit that can be paid from your bank account direct to your rent account when your Universal Credit payment is due.
Alternatively, you can set up a standing order, pay online, or by mobile phone app by scanning the QR code on your rent statement.
You can pay over the phone by debit card or credit card, or you can pay by payment card at a Paypoint location. To pay online or for more information, visit our Make a payment page.
What is happening about Pensions Credit?
Nothing at the moment. Pension Credit will continue as it is.
What can Radian do to help me?
We have a number of different teams who can assist you, including:
- Welfare Benefits Officers – To assist with what benefits you may be entitled to
- Tenancy Sustainment Officers – who can assist you if you are affected by the welfare reform and with any tenancy related issues you may have
- Employment Support and Training – Who can assist you with getting back in to work
We are also working hard to keep residents informed, and we are looking at how we can support people to go online. We have increased the dates on which we allow direct debit payments and we’re keeping a close eye on the plans for Universal Credit, which are changing all the time.
To help prepare you for Universal Credit, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) have created a personal planner that takes around 5-10 minutes to complete. It will provide you with information on any changes you may need to make. Visit the DWP Universal Credit planner to find out more.
Five top tips to prepare for Universal Credit
Get ahead with your rent payments
Waiting times for Universal Credit average around six to seven weeks from making your claim to getting your first payment, so any money you can pay on your rent account to get in advance is going to be really helpful.
You will get paid once a month with Universal Credit, do you know how to budget your money so that all the bills get paid and you still have money left for the month? We can help you with budgeting advice at Radian.
Do you have a bank account?
Universal Credit will be paid directly in to your bank account. If you need help to open a bank account, please contact a Tenancy Sustainment Officer.
Universal Credit claims will be made online and you will benefit from regular online access to your account.
Although it seems pretty overwhelming and involves a lot of changes, we are here to help. Please contact us on 0300 123 1 567 if you have any questions.