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The Government has introduced Universal Credit as part of the welfare reforms. Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will replace 6 existing benefits for working age people.

It will eventually replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and not local councils.

Those customers claiming Universal Credit (UC) will have their housing costs paid as part of their UC and will no longer be entitled to claim Housing Benefit.

From the 5th July 2017 Universal Credit was rolled out to most of Dudley Metropolitan Borough.

Working age customers who would have made a new claim for Housing Benefit will claim Universal Credit instead.

Exclusions

All Pensions age claimants are excluded from the Universal Credit scheme and will still claim Housing Benefit.

Customers living in Supported Accommodation will continue to claim Housing Benefit. This is accommodation where you receive such support as care, supervision or counselling and advice. Some examples of supported accommodation are hostels, refuges and supported living complexes.

Customers with three or more children making a new claim after 6th April 2017 should still claim the relevant Benefits listed above instead of Universal Credit.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction IS NOT included in Universal Credit and you will need to make a claim to us as normal. It is important that any claim for Council Tax Reduction is made as early as possible as help entitlement will not usually be backdated.

Change of Circumstances

If you currently get Housing Benefit and have a change in your circumstances it may mean you have to move on to Universal Credit. If this is the case you will need to make an online claim for Universal Credit. You should tell us about the change as normal and we will tell you if this means a new claim for Universal Credit has to be made.

Keep your records updated

If you are already receiving Universal Credit you will need to contact Universal Credit to report the change in your circumstances. Council Tax Reduction will remain with the Council as per the advice above.

Personal Budgeting Support

What is personal budgeting support?

Personal budgeting support is about helping you, the customer to adapt to three key changes that Universal Credit (UC) brings:

  • a single household payment
  • being paid monthly
  • rent being paid directly to you and not to your housing provider.

Personal budgeting support will support you to manage your money and paying your bills on time as you transition onto UC.

How does personal budgeting support affect Universal Credit claimants?

  • Personal budgeting support will be offered to Universal Credit claimants when you make a claim and will be given to those of you who have a clear need.¬†
  • Help will be offered to you initially by phone, and then if necessary a face to face interview appointment will be made where we can discuss your financial circumstances directly with you.

What type of personal budgeting support will be available?

Advice will be given to you on:

  • maximising your income by assisting in the application process for Council Tax Reduction, Discretionary Housing Payments and utility reductions.
  • Budgeting advice will be given on how to manage money
  • Examining your Income and expenditure.
  • Signposting you to other organisations for more intensive support.

If you feel that you need help with your personal budgeting please either email your name address and telephone number to clerks.benefits@dudley.gov.uk and put in the subject line Personal Budgeting Support, or telephone us on 0300 555 8100.

Universal Credit and Landlords

The way you will receive payments for your rent may change with Universal Credit.

Please see the following documents for information.