A guide to benefit changes

  1. Universal Credit (You are here)
  2. Housing Benefit for Council and housing association tenants
  3. Personal Independence Payment

Universal Credit

Are you ready for Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit payment, which replaces six working age benefits with a single monthly payment. 

The six benefits being replaced are:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credits (WTC)
  • Housing Benefit (HB)

Any other benefits you are entitled to will continue as normal. The payment of Universal Credit is calculated and paid monthly, it is designed to be like a monthly wage, being paid in one lump sum. This payment includes the housing element which replaces housing benefit and you will be responsible to use this to pay your rent.

Universal Credit does not include assistance with your Council Tax. If you are claiming Universal Credit you will still have to contact Rotherham Council to apply for Council Tax Support.

Who does it affect?

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the country but not everyone has to claim it yet. 

The Full Digital service is already available in some areas of Rotherham including Wath and Swinton. 

To find out if you can claim, enter your postcode at:

See if you can claim Universal Credit

If you are of pension age you will not currently be affected. However, you may be if you are not currently receiving pension credit and your partner is under pension credit age. 
If you are unsure of when you will reach state pension age, the Government website provides a useful State Pension Calculator.

Check the calculator

Claiming Universal Credit

Universal Credit is paid directly into a bank, building society or credit union account.

You will then be responsible for any weekly or monthly outgoings, including paying your own rent.

Under certain circumstances it is possible for couples to apply for ‘split payment’. This means Universal Credit could be paid into separate accounts if you meet the criteria.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will introduce the Full Digital service in Rotherham from July 2018 onwards. This will mean you will be responsible for managing your own Universal Credit claim and can search for work online. To do so you will need access to a computer, the internet and an email address.

It’s important that you are aware after making an initial claim; it will take at least five weeks to receive your first Universal Credit payment. An advance payment can help if you cannot manage until your first (or next) Universal Credit payment. Make sure you know how much you need, as you will only get one New Claim advance and you will need to pay it back.

What if I can’t get online?

You may be able to access a computer at a local library or Job Centre’s. If you need help completing your claim you can contact your local Job Centre or go to Universal Credit website.

Get help completing your claim

If you have a Live/Gateway service claim please ring: 0345 600 0723

If you have a Full/Digital service claim please ring: 0345 600 4272

If you need any further information please call 01709 336009

We are here to help you.

Further information about what you need to do to prepare for Universal Credit

There are lots of resources to help you understand Universal Credit. Visit the Government’s website for more information or watch this YouTube video.

Watch the video

See the Universal Credit website

You can find out how ready you are for Universal Credit by completing the Universal Credit questionnaire. This will take about five minutes.

Complete the questionnaire to find out if you are ready for Universal Credit

If you think you might struggle to adjust to receiving your benefit payment on a monthly basis you can find advice on budgeting and paying your rent on the Money Advice Service website: 

Money Advice Service

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