Universal Credit is replacing six legacy benefits* and being introduced in stages across the UK between now and 2023. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstance.
To find out what constitutes as a change in circumstance, read Money Advice Service: Who is affected by Universal Credit
Help is available
If you or someone you know is worried about starting a Universal Credit claim, there is support available to help.
Get support from us
We offer our own money support service, which is available to all our tenants to provide budgeting advice and assistance with welfare benefits, and can signpost to other services where necessary. The support offered from the team could be a simple phone call or longer-term help if required, including home visits.
To arrange a referral, please contact our customer services team or speak to your Income Manager. All referrals will be treated confidentially.
Alternatively, you may prefer to speak to an independent agency; please see below for other organisations offering support with Universal Credit claims.
Citizens Advice can support you to make a new claim for Universal Credit, from opening your account to receiving your first payment, and they have trained advisers who can help you to:
- Set up your Universal Credit account
- Complete your claim to-dos
- Verify your identity
- Make sure you’re providing the right evidence to the Jobcentre
- Understand what Universal Credit will mean for you
You can contact an advisor by calling their freephone national helpline on 0800 144 8444. They will be able to help you with your claim over the phone or will advise you of a centre locally where you can make an appointment to see someone in person.
Age UK offer a free, confidential, national phone advice service for older people and their families, friends, carers and professionals and can provide expert support with claiming benefits. Call their advice line or contact your local Age UK if you need help.
Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre offer a range of advice including help with benefits and can aid you in completing forms.
Crosslight Advice West Kent has three branches in West Kent – Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks – and offer debt and money advice.
Dover District Council offer digital-assisted support for people without internet or that need help making a claim. Appointments are usually held at their Whitfield office.
Or to find a local advice agency in your area, visit: Advice Local
*Universal Credit will be replacing the following six benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit