Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income. It is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, and is being introduced in stages across the country. If you live in the Bury area you may be eligible to claim.
It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:
- Income Support
- Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit
Existing benefit claimants
If you are already claiming any benefits you do not need to do anything. You will be told when Universal Credit will affect you. If your current circumstances change you may be invited to apply for Universal Credit sooner.
New benefit claimants
If are making a new claim for benefits with the Department for Work and Pensions because you are out of work, you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. When you contact the Department for Work and Pensions you will be directed to claim either Universal Credit or another benefit depending on your household's circumstances.
Help with Council Tax
Help with Council Tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. If you receive Universal Credit you will need to apply to us for Council Tax Support. If you do not claim Council Tax Support when you apply for Universal Credit you may lose benefit.
Help with housing costs
If you qualify for Universal Credit you will no longer claim Housing Benefit from Bury Council. Instead any help you get with your rent will be included in your Universal Credit payment and you will be responsible for paying your landlord. In some circumstances payments can be made direct to the landlord, for example, when there are rent arrears or threat of eviction or you find it difficult to manage payments.
Extra help with housing costs
If you claim Universal Credit you can still apply to us for extra help towards your rent under the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme.
Help and support when making a claim for Universal Credit
Claims for Universal Credit will be made online. We provide free computer access for Universal Credit claimants, in Council offices and libraries across the borough.
The Department for Work and Pensions will also arrange for free budgeting and money advice for anyone who asks for it when claiming Universal Credit.