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Universal Credit - what it means to you

UniversalcreditmainIn October 2013, the government launched Universal Credit to replace a range of benefits and tax credits.

It will eventually apply to everyone of working age claiming the benefits and tax credits it is replacing, which are listed below:

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

Not everyone is receiving the new payment yet, as it is being introduced in stages across the country, but everyone will changeover by the end of 2017. Over 8000 Accent residents will receive it. It could be you.

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

The government wants you to claim for Universal Credit online. We can help you do that.

When will I changeover to Universal Credit?

It depends on where you live in the country, but definitely before the end of 2017.

How often is Universal Credit paid?

Once a month, so it has to last the whole month.

How do I get my Universal Credit?

It is paid directly into your bank account. Please talk to us if you do not have one.

What do I need to do?

  • Talk to us about managing your money.
  • Find out about what bank accounts are available.
  • Find out about using direct debits.
  • Find out how to use the internet and on-line services.

What this means for Housing Benefit

There will no longer be Housing Benefit as we know it. Your monthly Universal Credit payment will include a ‘housing costs element’ to replace the help you currently get from Housing Benefit. If you currently have your rent paid directly to Accent, this will change under Universal Credit, and the money for your rent will be paid to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment. This means that you will be responsible for paying the money you get for your rent directly to us as required by your tenancy agreement.

Our experience so far is that the changeover is causing our residents some financial difficulties as they get used to a different way of receiving their money and budgeting, particularly as their housing payment is included in the monthly Universal Credit payment. 

If you are receiving Universal Credit, or you are due to change to the new payment soon, please tell us as we do not want you to fall into rent arrears.  

Please contact us. We can offer you advice and support - we are here to help.