Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new type of benefit that replaces the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

It will be paid direct to you in one monthly payment.

How will it affect me?

You claim Universal Credit if you are under pensionable age and on a low to moderate income. You can also make a claim if you are not currently in work.

You will be notified before the roll-out date in your area by the DWP if you will need to claim Universal Credit. The claim needs to be made online. Once notified, you can start making your claim by going to https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit. If you have limited access to the internet you can also claim by visiting your local library or job centre.

When will it start?

Universal Credit is being introduced gradually across the country. It began to ‘roll out’ to new claimants in May 2016 and will continue until September 2018. These are the next local implementation dates by area:

Stroud District Council October 2017
Forest of Dean District Council November 2017
Gloucester City Council February 2018
Herefordshire Council March 2018

The next big roll out of Universal Credit is on its way and, although this seems like a long way off, you should start preparing now. Universal Credit is paid in arrears and it can take a minimum of seven weeks before you receive payment.

How do I pay my rent?

Universal Credit will be paid directly to your bank account each month and in arrears. It is important you pay your rent on time. We recommend setting up a Direct Debit with us, so you can make your rent payments automatically, without any worry. You will find more information on paying by Direct Debit on our Rent and service charges page, or call us on 0800 316 0897.

The Money Advice Service has created a useful tool to help you manage your Universal Credit payment – https://obs.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/ .

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0345 600 0723

Text phone: 0345 600 0743

Open Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm

Calls cost up to 9p a minute from a landline, or between 8p and 40p a minute from a mobile – however you can call the helpline and ask them to ring you back.