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Get ready for Universal Credit

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016)

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduces some changes to the benefit cap.  These changes, which will take effect in August 2016, include changes to the benefit cap levels to £23,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £15,410 for single people without children in Greater London and £20,000 and £14,000 respectively for those groups elsewhere in Great Britain.  They also include additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

For more information about the benefit cap changes please visit www.Gov.UK/benefit-cap

The benefits system is changing and many benefits are being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit. The new benefit has been running as a pilot in many parts of the UK and will be introduced in the Dudley borough during March and April 2015.

To begin with only single people without dependent children who are making a new claim will apply for Universal Credit. If you’re already claiming benefits you don’t need to do anything - you’ll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re working and on a low income or out of work. For more information contact your local Jobcentre or visit: www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Universal Credit replaces the following benefits:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support

 

You should apply for any other benefit separately.

A new way to manage your payments

The way that people claim and manage Universal Credit will be new.

The changes include:

  • most people will claim Universal Credit on line

  • Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account

  • you’ll get one monthly payment for your whole household

  • any help you get with your rent (Housing Benefit) will be included in your payment  - you’ll have to pay your landlord yourself

 

One of the biggest changes with Universal Credit is the way Housing Benefit is paid. If you qualify for Housing Benefit this will be paid direct to you and you will need to pay your landlord yourself.

Please see the benefits page for further information and the latest Issue of Home Affairs.