Universal Credit is a new single payment for working age people who are looking for work or on a low income. 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.
In May 2016, Universal Credit Full Service was rolled out in Lowestoft, meaning that the most new claims to 'legacy benefits' made since then, within postal codes NR32, NR33, NR34 4 and IP19 1, would claim Universal Credit instead. These “legacy benefits” are Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.
Universal Credit Full Service was rolled out to Beccles Job Centre on 18 October 2017 which has affected postcodes in both the Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council areas.
|IP18 6||IP19 0||IP19 9||NR34 8|
|IP18 6||IP19 0||IP19 1||IP19 8||IP19 9||NR32||NR33|
|NR34 0||NR34 4||NR34 7||NR34 8||NR34 9||NR35 1||NR35 9|
As Universal Credit Full Service is rolled out to other Job Centres, it will be introduced to further postcodes within the Suffolk Coastal and Waveney areas. Please see our section on future roll out plans for more information.
People living in Supported Accommodation may still be able to apply for Housing Benefit. The rules regarding this are complex and if you think you are living in supported accommodation, please speak to your Landlord, or contact us, to confirm.
Some families, with more than two children, living in Universal Credit Full Service sites will still be able claim legacy benefits including Housing Benefit following 6 April 2017.
From 1 April 2017 the rules regarding young single people claiming Universal Credit has changed. This will affect single people aged 18 to 21.
|Opening a Universal Credit account online|
Working with students at Lowestoft College, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils have produced a series of videos to promote and explain how Universal Credit works and how it can #makeyourmoneygofurther!
|Universal Credit - Help Your Money Go Further! #1|
|Universal Credit - Help Your Money Go Further! #2|
By completing the Universal Credit Preparation Questions, you'll know if there are important changes you need to make and advice on what you need to do to prepare for Universal Credit. This should take about 5 minutes.
The Government has announced the Universal Credit Full Service roll out dates for the remainder of the Country. The remaining Waveney postcode area of IP20 is due to go Full Service with Diss Jobcentre, on 7 February 2018. In April 2018 Full Service will be introduced at Ipswich Jobcentre. Some postcodes within Suffolk Coastal District Council area will move onto Full Service with Ipswich Jobcentre, these are likely to be within Rushmere and Kesgrave. From June 2018 all three Jobcentres within Suffolk Coastal area (Leiston, Woodbridge and Felixstowe) will move onto Full Service. At this stage the whole of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney areas will have moved onto Full Service.
For further information visit the GOV.UK website. The Money Advice Service also offers useful information and have developed an online tool that provides practical support and advice.
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.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have created a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding Universal Credit and Rented Housing. If you are a landlord you may find this useful. It has been produced primarily for private and social sector landlords so they understand what they can do to help their tenants prepare for the move to direct payments. It also explains how Universal Credit will ensure appropriate protections and safeguards are in place.
The DWP have also created a Support Pack for Social Landlords.
The Money Advice Service have created an Information for Landlords page you may find useful.