What is Universal Credit?

The Government is going to simplify the benefit system so there are fewer different types of benefit paid.

A new benefit, ‘Universal Credit’, will replace these benefits and will be paid as ONE SINGLE MONTHLY PAYMENT:

  • Working tax credit
  • Child Tax credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (previously called incapacity benefit)

It does not include:

  • Disability Living Allowance (although this benefit will change too)
  • Carer’s Allowance

How will Universal Credit be paid to me?

The Government wants people who get certain benefits to take more responsibility for managing their money.

Therefore the payment will be made directly to residents. This means that instead of Housing Benefit being paid directly to bpha, it will be paid to you as part of the Universal Credit payment, and you will be responsible for paying us.

If you are likely to lose money because of changes to the rules about how many bedrooms Housing Benefit will pay for, or because of the benefit cap, you will have to make up the difference yourself.

Act now…don’t wait

Universal Credit for single applicants has now been rolled out to many areas, The second tranche – for all households who have a change of circumstances or new claim – is due to start rolling out shortly.

Find out more about Universal Credit on this website.

Try this useful Universal Credit Planner – by answering a few questions you will be able to find out what changes YOU need to make and how to prepare.

Make sure you’re ready for Universal Credit by opening a bank account. Alternatively, you could consider opening a Credit Union Account.

Make sure you’re ready for Direct Payments – start thinking about what payment method you will use to pay your rent, and how you will manage your money in the future. There are lots of ways to pay that you could consider; including direct debit, standing order, via Post Office or over the phone.

You can also watch this video from Money Advice Service which has some really useful tips on how to get ready for Universal Credit.

When you are prepared, you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit online using any device such as a mobile phone, tablet, PC or laptop, as long as you have access to the internet. You can also visit bpha Customer Service Centre (St. Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SJ) or any local library where there are computers for your use.