Universal Credit - are you ready?
Changing the way you pay your rent
Did you know changes are being made to the way benefits are paid? This means the way some of you pay your rent will change too. We are here to support you with these changes and help you prepare for Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is coming to a Jobcentre Plus near you
The Government is continuing their roll out of Universal Credit. Most Jobcentres will move over to Universal Credit over the coming year, including Redhill (planned for October 2018) and Crawley (planned for June 2018). The roll out dates are subject to change, and the latest timetable for when each Jobcentre starts taking new claims for Universal Credit can be found here:
Universal Credit Timetable
Whether you are working or not; if you are of working age and receive any of the benefits being replaced, you will need to claim Universal Credit.
Universal Credit replaces:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
What’s the big change?
Universal Credit will be paid directly to you. You will be responsible for paying your rent in full to us each month. To get ready for this, we are working with you to have your housing benefit switched from being paid directly to us, to being paid directly to you (if you are eligible for Universal Credit).
To help you with this and to make sure it all runs smoothly, our Moneywise team can help you make this switch before Universal Credit rolls out. The team can help you with making sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to, setting up a bank account or a direct debit to manage these payments or helping answer any questions you have.
Don't worry if we haven't contacted you yet about the changes. We’re proactively writing and phoning people in stages to encourage them to make this change so we will be in touch.
Claiming housing benefit which is paid directly to Raven? Make the switch now and take control
If you are currently receiving housing benefit; switching to having your benefit paid to you instead of us will give you greater control of your tenancy. If there’s a problem with your housing benefit or the amount you get each week changes because your income goes up or down, you will be alerted to this earlier. This means you can make changes or sort the problem out quickly as you will know straightaway. You just need to pay us the full rent each week or month, regardless of the amount of benefit you receive, giving you complete control over your money.
Universal Credit – Planning ahead
From 14 February 2018, the government have abolished the rule about not being paid any Universal Credit for the first 7 days of a new claim.
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears. Many people who have claimed Universal Credit have found that being without benefit for a month has been a real struggle. If you are able to, you should put aside some money now if you think you will be claiming for Universal Credit. The money you save now will act as a buffer for the month when you are waiting for your first payment.
Your tenancy agreement states you need to pay your rent weekly in advance. It’s vital you make the change now, especially if you are on a low income. Pay an extra £5 each week and you are likely to be in advance with your rent when Universal Credit is fully rolled to your area.
If you are struggling to pay your rent or manage your money, our Moneywise team are here to help you. You can contact a member of the team by calling 0300 123 3399 or email: email@example.com
More information can be found about Universal Credit at www.gov.uk/universal-credit