Universal Credit is a mean-tested benefit for people of working age only, who are on a low income or unemployed.
It is intended to simplify the current benefit system by introducing one monthly payment instead of the current system where payments can be received from different sources and at different frequencies.
Entitlement to Universal Credit is calculated by comparing your financial resources with the amount the government states you need to live on.
Who can claim Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a working age benefit and therefore can not be claimed by anyone who has reached state pension credit age.
The minimum age for claiming Universal Credit is 16 years of age. If you are 16 or 17 you must meet the following criteria:
- You have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
- You’re caring for a severely disabled person
- You’re responsible for a child
- You’re in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
- You’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
- You’ve had a child in the last 15 weeks
- You do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care.
What Universal Credit is replacing
Universal Credit is replacing:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credits
If you are currently claiming any of the above benefits, you don’t need to do anything now. The Department for Work and Pensions will get in touch with you before there are any changes to your benefits or tax credits and before they are transferred to Universal Credit.
If you are currently claiming any of the above benefits and your circumstances change, it may mean that you will no longer be able to claim those benefits and will need to submit an application for Universal Credit.
Universal Credit does not include help to pay your Council Tax, you will still need to claim Council Tax support.
How to claim Universal Credit
Residents in the Havant area can now claim Universal Credit. Our online benefits calculator will advise you which benefits you may be entitled to.
If you are eligible for Universal Credit, you will need to apply online using the steps below.
- Set up an account online. You will need an email address to do this and have information to hand such as your National Insurance number, housing information, income and savings, childcare situation and if you are in receipt of any other benefits.
- Use your account to start a claim (please note that you will be asked to verify your identity online). If you experience difficulties with this, you can go back to your Universal Credit account and click on 'I can’t do this online' so that you can skip this step and confirm your identity at the Job Centre instead.
- Arrange an interview at your local Job Centre within 7 days of starting your claim. To book the appointment, please call 0345 600 0723, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Support with Universal Credit
You can get advice by calling the Universal Credit Service Helpline on 0345 600 0723.
Havant Borough Council can offer advice to assist you with registering for an account, complete an application and manage your money.
This is called Assisted Digital Support and Personal Budgeting Support. To speak to one of our officers, please call 02392 446382 and select 'option 3'.
You cannot backdate your Universal Credit claim so it is important that you make your claim as soon as possible.