Are you ready for Universal Credit?
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.
Answers to some commonly asked questions about Universal Credit can be found below:
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is one benefit for working-age people that replaces several existing ones, namely:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seeker's Allowance (Income-based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income-based)
- Tax Credits
You will receive one payment, made up of two elements, your personal payment and your housing cost.
What is happening about Pensions Credit?
Nothing at the moment. Pension Credit will continue as it is.
When is Universal Credit coming to my area?
Universal Credit is being rolled out between now and 2021.
New, single job-seeking claimants are now live with Universal Credit.
Couples and families that are new claimants will start to be able to claim Universal Credit between May 2016 and 2018.
The roll out of Universal Credit full service across the Radian region is as follows:
|Date||Jobcentre area||Local authorities covered by this Jobcentre|
|May 2017||Chippenham||Wiltshire (part only)|
|June 2017||Salisbury||Wiltshire (part only)|
|Devizes||Wiltshire (part only)|
|Trowbridge||Wiltshire (part only)|
|October 2017||Poole||Poole, East Dorset (part only)|
|November 2017||Winton||East Dorset (part only)|
|December 2017||Reading||Reading, Wokingham (part only)|
|February 2018||Basingstoke||Basingstoke and Deane|
|Bracknell||Bracknell Forest, Wokingham (part only)|
|Maidenhead||Windsor and Maidenhead|
|Slough||Slough, South Bucks|
|May 2018||Hythe||New Forest (part only)|
|Newport (IOW)||Isle of Wight (part only)|
|Lymington||New Forest (part only)|
|Ringwood||New Forest (part only)|
|July 2018||Alton, Bordon||East Hampshire (part only)|
|Farnborough||Hart, Rushmoor (part only)|
|Ryde||Isle of Wight (part only)|
|Aldershot||Rushmoor (part only)|
|August 2018||Petersfield||East Hampshire (part only)|
If you are currently claiming one of the legacy benefits involved in Universal Credit you will migrate over at some point between 2018 and 2021.
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 or a public access point.
The Universal Credit website can be found at: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
If you would like some information on using a computer or assistance making your claim, please contact one of our team on 0300 123 1 567.
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 Savings, capital and any other income
- Name and address of landlord (Radian, Collins House, Bishopstoke Road, Eastleigh, SO50 6AD)
Claims can take up to one hour to make and you cannot save your application, so you must complete it in one go.
How much will I get?
You will receive a letter from the DWP detailing how much you will receive for a personal allowance and your housing costs. If this is going to change, you will receive a new letter each month.
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. Currently, this will be by ringing the Universal Credit Helpline on 0345 600 0723* and sending a copy of your rent increase letter.
*The helpline is open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm. Calls cost 4p per minute from a BT landline plus 15p call set-up charge. From mobiles, calls cost 40p per minute. If you're worried about call charges, you can request a callback.
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 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.
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.
Universal Credit full service