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About Universal Credit

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About Universal Credit is a new benefit designed to support people of working age who are on a low income or out of work.
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Universal Credit is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income Related Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit will not replace Child Benefit. Find out more about Child Benefit here:

Universal Credit is different to other benefits:

  • It will be paid in a single monthly payment into your Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account
  • There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you're claiming Universal Credit.

Help with Housing Costs

  • Any help you get with your rent will be included in your Universal Credit payment
  • You will be responsible for paying your rent to your landlord
  • In some circumstances requests can be made for payments to be made directly to the landlord

Universal Credit Live Service

From May 2015 to 31st December 2017 in Conwy County Borough it was only single people of working age, who had  become unemployed could claim Universal Credit and the following had to apply:-

  • Be of working age and fit for work
  • Have no children
  • Not be waiting to hear about a claim, or an appeal, for:
    • Job Seekers Allowance
    • Employment Support Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Incapacity Benefit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Housing Benefit.

This was known as Universal Credit Live Service and the gateway to this service for new claims was closed on the 31st December 2017 in preparation for Universal Credit Full Service.

Universal Credit Full Service

Universal Credit Full Service has been rolling out nationally (beyond London) since May, 2016.  The rollout for the residents within Conwy County Borough is:-

  • 11th April 2018 for residents covered by Rhyl Job Centre
  • 6th June 2018 for residents covered by Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Job Centres

On the above dates the gateway will open to new claims for Universal Credit from:-

  • Single people with/without children
  • Couples *with/without children
  • People who are out of work, including those that are unwell
  • People who are in work including the self employed

*At the point of a new claim those that have more than two dependent children will continue to claim legacy benefits e.g. Housing Benefit/Job Seekers Allowance/Child Tax Credit/Working Tax Credit until January 2019 when they can claim Universal Credit.

For more information please visit the Universal Credit website.

I am of working age, when will I have to move from claiming Housing Benefit from Conwy County Borough Council to Universal Credit paid by the Department for Work & Pensions?

When you have a relevant change in your circumstances your Housing Benefit will end and you will be invited to claim Universal Credit. If you have not moved over to Universal Credit by July 2019 there will be a rolling programme of moving you over to Universal Credit which should complete by March 2022.

The Department for Work & Pensions have produced a useful leaflet for Universal Credit for Applicants - Universal Credit and You (PDF).

Universal Support 

Universal Credit Full Service is operated by a digital interactive service. Assisted digital support is available for customers claiming Universal Credit and managing their account from the Benefit Staff of Conwy County Borough Council. Please contact us to request assistance.

Budgeting and Managing your Money

  • Universal Credit will be paid monthly, in arrears
  • It can take several weeks after you make your claim to get your first payment

If you find it difficult to manage this new monthly payment or need further support with budgeting, please contact us.

If you need financial help before your UC payment is due and you meet certain conditions set by the DWP, you can ask for an advanced payment. Please note that if you receive an advanced payment, your future payments will be reduced to pay for this advance.

If you would like to apply for an advanced payment you will need to contact the Job Centre.

Further Support and information

If you are currently claiming benefits and you want to know how Universal Credit might affect you in the future, use the Universal Credit calculator.

If you think you may struggle to manage your money on Universal Credit, you can contact us to arrange a free money advice session. Contact us or talk to your work coach at the Jobcentre and ask them to refer you for Personal Budgeting Support.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and have a query regarding your claim, or wish to report a change in your circumstances please contact Universal Credit.

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