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Universal Credit is here!

If you receive any of the following benefits, you will be going onto Universal Credit:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (income related)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Roll out

Universal Credit is already live in Cornwall and the Full Digital Service is being rolled out from this December, starting with Liskeard, Launceston and Bude.

There have been some changes to the roll out dates:

May 2018 (was Feb) – St. Austell, Newquay, Bodmin and Truro

June 2018 (was March) – Penzance, Helston, Bodmin and Penryn.

Who is affected

Those first affected will be anyone who has a change to their personal circumstances that will alter any existing benefits.

Changes in circumstances could be something like a salary increase or decrease, job loss, moving house, arrival of a new baby or your child starting school.

Otherwise, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will be moving people onto the new benefit in 2019, so keep an eye out for any letters from them.

Positive Updates from the New Budget 22/11/2017!

Waiting period
Scrapping the 7-day waiting period for those going from employed to Universal Credit.

Advanced payments
From January 2018, you can get up to 1 months Universal Credit payment upfront within 5 days of making your application.
This is interest free and is now repayable over 12 months for everyone (it was 6 months).

Housing Benefits
Existing Housing Benefit claimants will now continue to be paid Housing Benefit during the first 2 weeks of your Universal Credit Claim.

Rent First

Universal Credit will mean that your housing costs (currently known as housing benefit) will be paid direct to you rather than your landlord. This means you will then be responsible for paying your rent. Paying your rent should be your number one priority, to ensure you are not at risk of losing your home.

The easiest way to manage this will be to set up a standing order or direct debit.

If you have not already done so, please register for My Ocean where you can see up-to-date rent balance and make payments.

Your Universal Credit claim will be dealt with online only and you will have a journal to keep track of your benefit and any work commitments.

Icon online form sml Click here for more information about Universal Credit.

Talk to Us

If you are worried about Universal Credit and how you will manage, please contact our friendly Welfare Advisors.

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Icon online form sml Online contact form
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Maria is feeling ready – are you?

There are a number of ways you can prepare for Universal Credit. Being prepared now will make the change easier, and our Welfare Advisors are here to help.

One of our residents, Maria, has already started planning for Universal Credit.

Looking at her circumstances, she is aware her benefits will change in September 2018 when her son starts school.

Rent First
She is topping up her rent account with £2 a week using her Allpay card to ensure her home will be protected.

Food Economy
She has started using the savings cards at Asda and Iceland and is putting £1 on these when she does her weekly shops. This will soon add up over time and ensure she has food
for her family.

Savings Jar
Any spare coins at the end of the week she puts into a jar, whether it is 1p, 2p or an occasional £5 note, this is to top up the key meters.

FREE Entertainment
Her library card is up to date so she can get books and films to entertain children as its FREE!

Switching Supplier
Looked at existing bills, reduced what she could and pays extra when she can. Every little helps!

Loyalty Cards
Uses Loyalty cards – you can get money off or free goods anywhere for doing your normal shopping.

Maria has been taking these steps over several months now and does not feel that she or her family have missed out. She knows that every little will help her family and would encourage people to do the same.

“I feel much more prepared for the changeover next year and I am not as worried” says Maria.

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