What Is Universal Credit?

Universal credit is administered by the Department of Working Pensions (DWP). It is a new benefit for working age people who are in and out of work and replaces six existing benefits with a single monthly payment paid direct to one named person in a household. This may also include your rent and service charge if eligible.
Universal Credit replaces the following benefits and tax credits:
• Housing Benefit
• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income Support
• Income based Employment and Support Allowance
• Working Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit

Who can claim?

• Single aged between 18 and 60 and 6 months
• Must have a National Insurance number and be a British Citizen
• Not be homeless or living in supported or exempt accommodation
• Not have a fitness for work note or applied for fitness for work
• Not own or partially own the home they live in
• Must have a bank, building society or credit union account
• Must not have any undecided appeals for non-entitlement to old rules- Employment Support , Jobseekers Allowance or Income
A full list of eligibility available at: www.gov.uk/universal-credit

How to Claim Universal Credit

An application form must be completed to claim Universal Credit and this will need to be made online at: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit 

Universal Credit Helpline: 0345 6000723

Where to find a computer to make your application:
• You can complete an application online at your local jobcentre, Tel: 01389-737000 or visit: www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-centre

What happens once you have made a claim to Universal Credit:

• After submitting your claim you will be contacted by the DWP UC Service Centre to arrange an interview at your local jobcentre with a Work Coach. You will also be reminded of identification and evidence required to progress your application
• Knowes staff will be able to provide you with proof of your tenancy, rent and service charges
• On attendance at the jobcentre your application will be reviewed evidence verified and your claimant commitment discussed and agreed
• The work coach will discuss monthly budgeting and any possible debt issues, if appropriate alternative payment will be arranged
• Future follow up appointments will also be agreed
• The DWP will then send your application to a Universal Credit Service Centre for processing
• The DWP will then send you a Universal Credit decision letter

Universal Credit Assessment Period

Once your application is received at the service centre a further check on all evidence submitted will be carried out, if further details are required you will be asked to submit these. If housing costs are included in the application they may also contact your landlord.

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