Universal Credit is a new single payment for working age people who are looking for work or on a low income. It replaces Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Jobseekers Allowance and Income related Employment and Support Allowance.
It has been rolled out across the country and was introduced in our area in March 2015. The introduction initially only applied to people that were single and would have previously applied for Jobseekers Allowance.
On 17 October 2018 the final three Jobcentres affecting East Suffolk area, Felixstowe, Leiston and Woodbridge, became Universal Credit Full Service Jobcentres.
This means that all postcodes within East Suffolk area are now covered by Universal Credit Full Service.
Working with students at Lowestoft College, we have produced a series of videos to promote and explain how Universal Credit works and how it can #makeyourmoneygofurther!
By completing the Universal Credit Preparation Questions, you'll know if there are important changes you need to make and get advice on what you need to do to prepare for Universal Credit. This should take about 5 minutes.
We teamed up with our colleagues at North East Suffolk and Felixstowe Citizens Advice to create a handy ‘Understanding Universal Credit’ video to help you get ready for Universal Credit.
If you need to claim Universal Credit you can get help to make or manage your online claim or your monthly payments of Universal Credit. This help is called Universal Support.
Information about Universal Credit and finding work is now available by pressing the red button on the TV remote control. Sky and Virgin customers who have interactive TV can scroll through the menu to the relevant page to view a raft of information, including checking their eligibility for Universal Credit and learning how they can make a claim.
Looking Local has also launched an interface for the Wii games console, Wii users can now use this to view information regarding Universal Credit. And those who use their smartphone to connect to the web, can access the information via the new app, My Council. Further information can also be accessed via Facebook.
To access information on Universal Credit using these new services:
The Department for Work and Pensions have launched a new online resource for job seekers. The website includes hints on creating an eye-catching CV and tips on getting into specific sectors that are recruiting now, the blog-style site features advice directly from employers and recruiters. It also includes information about Universal Credit and the ways it can help people get back to work.
Six animated videos to help you understand different aspects of Universal Credit are now available on the Money Advice Service website.
Our East Suffolk Universal Credit Guide for Private Landlords has been produced as a result of working in partnership with private rented sector landlords to raise awareness of Universal Credit and the support on offer locally. The pack also includes ways to prepare for Universal Credit, a guide to alternative payment arrangements and lessons learned from a local private landlord with tenants already getting Universal Credit.
For more information visit the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Universal Credit and rented housing guide.
The Money Advice Service have created an Information for Landlords page you may find useful.