The full Universal Credit service is going live across Hampshire and Surrey this year, following its roll out in Southampton, Eastleigh and West Berkshire in 2017.
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.
It’s now live across the country for single people who’d normally be making a new claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance. The government’s now starting to roll out the full, digital Universal Credit service to working age people. This means that all new claims in those areas, 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 is it live in my area?
The full service goes live on the following dates:
- February 2017 - Southampton and some parts of the New Forest
- July 2017 - Eastleigh
- December 2017 – West Berkshire
- May 2018 - Basingstoke
- July 2018 - Winchester, Test Valley
- September 2018 - Portsmouth, Cosham, Lymington
- October 2018 - Aldershot, Bordon, Farnborough, Guildford, East Hampshire, Rushmoor, Hart, Waverley
- November 2018 - Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Petersfield, Surrey Heath.
Key information about Universal Credit and how you can prepare
- You'll be paid once a month into your Bank Account, and this will include money to pay your rent. You’ll need to make sure you have a bank account.
- You'll also need to make arrangements to pay your rent to us. The easiest way to pay your rent is to set up a Direct Debit.
- You’ll have to wait one month and seven days for your first payment. If you're going to struggle to wait this long, you can apply for advance payment, but you'll have to pay this back. Speak to your work coach or call 03456 004272 to request one.
- You need to apply and manage your claim online. If you don't have access to the internet at home, you can use your local library or Job Centre.
- Council Tax Support. Remember to claim Council Tax Support through your local Council if you're eligible, as this isn't included in your Universal Credit payment.
- Are you Pension Credit age? If you are part of a couple and one of you is of Pension age, you may be better off claiming Pension Credit instead of Universal Credit.
Giving you the support you need
We're here to help, so if you need support or have any questions please get in touch.