What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit (UC) is a single monthly payment being gradually launched throughout the UK to replace these benefits and tax credits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit Claiming benefits in Northern Ireland? Take a look at the NI Direct website.
So, what do I do now?
If you’re new to benefits, you will need to make an application online. You will then be asked to visit your local Jobcentre for an interview that you must go to. You could be denied Universal Credit if you don’t turn up. It’s then a five week wait until your first payment. Already claiming benefits? If your circumstances have changed (e.g. a partner has moved in) you will need to claim Universal Credit. If your circumstances haven’t changed, you won’t be asked to move over to Universal Credit until 2019.
Wait, I’m still confused about Universal Credit and what I can claim?
Don’t panic, Gov.uk can provide you with personal advice on where, how and what benefits you can claim. Here’s their contact details.
Gov.uk Universal Credit Phone Numbers:
Tel: 0800 328 9344
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744Benefits Advice Websites:
I’m late getting my Universal Credit payments, what can I do?
There’s been plenty of concern around Universal Credit and knowing where you stand can be a real headache. Choose Wisely’s research shows almost 40% of Brits were willing to reduce spending on everyday items when money is tight.
Already keeping a close eye? You’ve got options to top up your income:
- Apply for a Universal Credit Advance loan
- Create a budget and cut down spending
- Sell your unused belongings
- Borrow from family and/or friends
Most importantly, take charge of your finances and ask for help! The sooner you ask, the sooner you can make claims or start cutting back on costs. Call the Money Advice Service (0800 138 7777) or use their web chat service
Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.