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The way people of working age (not retired) claim benefits has changed. Universal Credit replaces these existing benefits:
Universal Credit works differently to the benefits you may already be claiming, so it’s important you know what will change and how it will affect you and your budget.
Since July 2018, it hasn’t been possible to make a new claim for any of the above benefits. You will instead have to make a claim for Universal Credit.
If you are currently claiming one or more of these benefits you will be contacted at some point by the DWP to claim Universal Credit.
We’re here to help you understand these changes and claim all of the benefits you are entitled to.
When you are moving to Universal Credit or considering making a benefit claim, our team can offer advice and support.
We can help you make your claim and put plans in place to stay on top of your rent and service charge payments. If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent or service charges, please contact us as soon as possible and we will work with you get things back on track.
Our experienced team:
Once you submit your application for Universal Credit, it will be a month and a week before your first payment.
It might be harder for you to pay your rent when you first go on Universal Credit. Contact us as soon as possible and we can work with you to put aside a little extra every month so that it'll be easier to pay your rent when you first go on Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is paid monthly on the same day. So, if you currently receive benefit payments throughout the month, you need to think about how you will budget so your money lasts the whole month.
When you switch to Universal Credit, your Housing Cost Element (payment to cover your rent)– will be paid directly to you, rather than to Phoenix as it may currently be.
1. A bank account
Universal Credit is paid directly into your bank account. Since May 2020, Post Office accounts are not accepted.
2. An email address
You need an email address to complete a claim for Universal Credit on the Internet.
Using the Internet makes it easier to use lots of services, find cheaper deals, and search for new jobs.
3. A phone number
When you apply, you will need to give a phone number.
4. A monthly budget
Some people will be better off on Universal Credit and some will find they receive less money. Before you make an unnecessary claim, you can contact Help to Claim, run by Citizens Advice. Visit the Citizens Advice website to find out more or call 0800 1448 444 to speak to a Citizens Advice adviser.
Eventually, everyone on one of the six benefits listed above will be moved to Universal Credit. However it affects you, we will work with you to make sure that you are as ready as possible for this change.
Claims are made online on the Government website. You can also call 0800 328 5644.
We can help you make a claim if you contact us.
When you claim Universal Credit, you will have to do certain things to guarantee the full amount of money you are entitled to. This could include applying for jobs or attending appointments.
If you don’t do these things, you may be sanctioned.
If one person in a couple is over pension credit age, you will no longer be able to claim pension credit. Instead you will need to claim Universal Credit.
If you are on a low income, you may be able to apply for a reduction in your council tax that means you pay less.
To do this, you will need to make a claim online on the Lewisham Council’s website.
Money Helper is designed to help people new to Universal Credit or considering making a claim prepare to do so.