Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is being introduced gradually across the country. UC has been live in Basingstoke and Deane since March 2016, for single claimants of working age only who would have claimed Jobseekers Allowance.

The 2017 Autumn Statement announced that Universal Credit live service will cease to take new claims from 1 January 2018.

Therefore, until Universal Credit full service is rolled out in the borough in May 2018, you should continue to claim one of the following benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support; and/or
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credits and/or Working Tax Credits with HM Revenue & Customs.

Existing Universal Credit live service claims will continue.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit (UC) is a new simpler single monthly payment for people of working age in or out of work. UC will replace:

  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Housing benefit

There are a small number of people who will not have their housing costs paid as part of their Universal Credit and will continue to receive help towards their rent from the local authority, for example, certain people who live in supported accommodation who receive care support or supervision from their landlord or by an organisation on their landlords behalf. We should have already identified your claim as one that will continue to receive help towards rent by us but may contact you nearer the time with further information.

What is different about Universal Credit?

The Government's aim is that by 2020, housing benefit for private and social tenants will no longer be dealt with by councils but will be part of Universal Credit (UC) that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be dealing with.

Payments will be made direct to the claimant in a single monthly payment. The aim is to incentivise work and ensure claimants are always better off in work. If you get housing benefit now and this is paid direct to your landlord, this will be included in your UC payment so you will have to take responsibility and ensure you pay your rent in full and on time.

You will need to have a bank account for your Universal Credit payment to be made. Guidance on basic bank accounts can be found below:

PDF document A guide to basic bank accounts leaflet (PDF) [91 kb]

How to claim

You will be expected to make your Universal Credit (UC) claim online by visiting the GOV UK website.

Anyone claiming UC will have to sign a claimant commitment. This will ensure claimants look for at least 35 hours of work a week.

If you need help or support claiming online there are places in the community you can go to access the internet for free and get support. View our 'How to get online' leaflet to find out what's on offer.

Where can I find out more?

We will be keeping our website up to date as we get further updates, so keep checking back for more details.

Further information on Universal Credit can be found on the GOV.UK website, by visiting the Universal Credit page.

Contact details

Specialist Welfare Support Officer - Benefits team

If you have an enquiry about Universal Credit, send a message to the Benefits Team

Telephone: 01256 845683

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm