Universal Credit

Universal credit was introduced in October 2013. Current Government proposals are that all households receiving benefits will eventually be moved from their current position to receiving it. When you move across to universal credit you’ll get one payment instead of different payments for different benefits.

In most cases, it also means your housing benefit won’t be paid directly to us anymore, so you need to make sure you pay your rent to us. The Government says it’ll begin to affect you if you put in new benefit claim on the Island from late-2015, and it won’t affect you for some time if you have an existing claim.

What does Universal Credit replace? • Income support • Job seekers allowance • Working tax credit • Employment and support allowance • Child tax credit • Housing benefit

What happens when you claim Universal Credit? • You may have to use a computer to claim online • You need a bank account for the payment to go into • Benefits will be paid to you in arrears at the end of the month • You need to pay your rent to us.

How will this affect me?

If you are about to move on to Universal Credit, then you may find the following website useful.

www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk is a new website aimed at claimants and future claimants, designed to help them to navigate the system and claim the right benefit so that they aren’t wasting time or missing out on payments at the start of their claim. It has been designed to work in harmony with the pages that are on GOV.UK and brings together information that may previously have been difficult to find/access.

Alternatively, get in touch directly with Vectis Housing Association, and we will be able to provide support and advice on changes due to Universal Credit. Anything you tell us will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please contact the housing team on 01983 525985 or enquiries@vectishousing.co.uk.

To work out how this might affect you, have a look at the Universal credit calculator here.

What do you need to do? Set up a bank account with a high street bank If you don’t have bank account, you’ll need to set one up soon so your universal credit gets paid to you. You can set up a basic bank account at most high street banks.

You don’t usually have to pay a monthly fee for the account, or get offered an overdraft. You should be able to set up a Direct Debit to pay your regular bills, including rent.

You can also set up a current account, which you may get an overdraft for.