From December 2017, Universal Credit will be phased in, affecting residents in Cornwall.
….It is not a choice.
….You will have to switch.
But don’t worry help is at hand!
What is Universal Credit?
It’s the new way that welfare benefits are going to be paid.
All benefits will be rolled into one and paid to you once a month.
There can be a delay of up to 6 weeks whilst the changeover of Universal Credit takes place, during which you may get no money.
We have therefore put together this simple flowchart to help you understand.
Take it step by step:
Step 1 – Are you of Working Age?
Yes – go to 2 No – Universal Credit should not affect you
Step 2 – Do you receive one or more of the following six benefits?
Working Tax Credits
Child Tax Credits
ESA (income related)
JSA (income related)
Yes – go to 3 No – Universal Credit should not affect you
Step 3 – Are you able to access the Internet?
Yes – go to 4 No – Ocean can help by offering advice. Continue to 4 and contact Ocean at the end.
Step 4 – Can you cope with 1 large monthly payment coming in?
Yes – go to 5 No – Ocean can help by offering advice. Continue to 5 and contact Ocean at the end.
Step 5 – Do you have a bank account?
Yes – Great you are almost ready! Go to 6! No – You will need a bank account so that your Universal Credit can be paid. Continue to 6 and remember to set up a bank account when you have finished reading this.
Step 6 – Don’t delay, prepare today!
Make extra payments to your rent (eg. set up a Hi-£5 buffer account)
Top up your prepayment card for gas/electric or switch to direct debit to spread the costs
Seek help budgeting – Contact Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) or Ocean’s Customer Accounts Team
Ocean has trebled its in-house collections for the local food bank, in response to growing demand for the service, which supplies food parcels to local families in need.
Missing those free school dinners
As the school holidays get underway, parents on a tight budget are having to make funds stretch even further, explained Ocean Housing’s Welfare Advisor Gemma Aldin:
“Children who would normally enjoy a free hot school dinner in term-time will of course need to eat at home in the holidays, which often puts parents under extra pressure financially.”
This in turn increases demand at the local food banks, with the St Austell branch reporting shortages of larder essentials that many of us take for granted, such as instant mashed potato, pasta sauce, long life milk and fruit juice.
Last year St Austell Food Bank supplied food parcels for 2,617 people, 890 of which were children.
“I wanted to find a simple way for us all to help,” added Susan McKnight, Ocean’s New Tenant Support Adviser, who began co-ordinating the collections at Ocean in 2015, which to date have raised over 200 kilos of shopping for the food bank.
Ocean can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
The Ocean Housing Group, which includes Gilbert & Goode and Ocean Housing, has successfully secured a place as both housing developer and contractor on the South West lot of the Homes & Community Agency’s flagship £8 billion Delivery Partner Panel 3 (DPP3) four year framework.
DPP3 will be used to speed-up the development of housing sites on public sector land and for public bodies, such as local authorities and housing associations, to simplify and reduce costs associated with the procurement of housing construction. Nationally the Panel consists of 70 of the country’s leading developers and contractors of which the Ocean Housing Group is the only Cornish company to be appointed. Previous frameworks have delivered 43,500 homes nationally over a seven year period and the estimated value of work that will be carried out through the framework in the South West region over the next 4 years is £1.35bn. Continue reading →