Benefits Customer news Money Advice

Make the most of our Universal Credit support

Soon to be published research has revealed that customers find us the most helpful source of support when making a Universal Credit claim, after friends and family! The research was carried out by the Institute of Customer Service and a number of VIVID customers participated in the study.

We can help you to make your claim, support you to get online and provide budgeting advice. So, if you need to make a claim for Universal Credit – make sure you make the most of the support available and get in touch.


What’s Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit, which will replace Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Job Seeker’s Allowance (income based), Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

The government’s rolling out Universal Credit to working age people. This means that all new claims for any of the benefits listed above, will be made for Universal Credit instead. However, people already claiming benefits won’t have to move onto Universal Credit until they are asked to, unless they have a major change of circumstances.


When does it go live in my area?

The full service is already live in Southampton, New Forest, Eastleigh, West Berkshire, Basingstoke, Winchester and Test Valley. It’s going live in other areas on the following dates:

  • September 2018 - Portsmouth, Cosham and Lymington
  • October 2018 - Aldershot, Bordon, Farnborough, Guildford, East Hampshire, Rushmoor, Hart and Waverley
  • November 2018 - Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Petersfield and Surrey Heath.


Key information about Universal Credit and how you can prepare

  • You'll be paid once a month into your bank. This includes your rent money - you'll need a bank account and have to make arrangements to pay all of your rent. Visit our 'paying my rent' page for information on the easiest ways to pay your rent.
  • You’ll have to wait 1 month 7 days for your first payment - and the benefits being replaced will stop immediately (apart from Housing Benefit which will run for a further two weeks). You can apply for an advance, but you have to pay this back.
  • You need to apply and manage your claim online - contact us if you need help with the application or need support to improve your digital skills.
  • Remember to claim Council Tax Support, as it isn't included in Universal Credit.
  • To find out more, visit


Try our free, online benefits calculator

Find out what benefits you’re due (or how much better off you’d be in work).


Giving you the support you need

We're here to help, so if you need support or have any questions please get in touch.