Getting ready for Universal Credit

19.10.2014

Universal Credit is a new benefit being introduced by the Government to replace existing benefits. The expansion of the full Universal Credit benefit to the rest of the North West of England will start in June 2014.

Universal Credit is a new benefit which is being introduced by the Government to replace existing benefits with a single monthly payment into your account.  The expansion of the full Universal Credit benefit to the rest of the North West of England will start in June 2014, with it being introduced in more Job Centres each week until the whole region is covered.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits - if you claim any of the following benefits Universal Credit will apply to you.

• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Income Support
• Working Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit
• Housing Benefit

Watch this short film by the Money Advice Service to find out more about Universal Credit and and how it may affect you.


Managing your payments
Universal Credit will be paid differently to current benefits.  It will be paid once a month as a single payment into a suitable account chosen by you. Any help you get with your rent will also be included with your Universal Credit payment and you will then need to pay your landlord yourself.

To receive Universal Credit you must open or have one of the following accounts:

• Post Office Card Account
• Bank or Building Society Account
• Credit Union Jam Jar Account
• Current Account
• Prepaid Card Account

If you do need to open a suitable account, get advice to help you choose the right account for you.

Top tips to be prepared
• Make sure you have an account that will accept Universal Credit payments
• Universal Credit claims will have to be made online - you can get online at Plus Dane offices, job centres, 
   local libraries and local council offices
• Pay a little extra into your rent account each week so you avoid arrears when you move to Universal 
   Credit

Getting help and advice
There is a lot of free and independent advice available to help you prepare for Universal Credit:

Citizens Advice – 08444 111 444
Credit Union – find your local branch
Money Advice Service – 0300 500 5000
Step Change (Money Advice) – 0800 138 1111
National Debt Line – 0808 808 4000
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

You can also download our Getting Ready for Universal Credit leaflet.

The Money Advice Service also have printed guides which you can download or order printed copies on various topics including Universal Credit and paying your own rent.