Universal Credit Important Updates

Universal Credit Important Updates

Following the recent Autumn Budget, there are a number of changes coming into effect over the next year that will benefit people who claim Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Advance Payment – January 2018

People struggling financially will be able to get up to a full month’s interest free advance payment while waiting for their first Universal Credit payment. This will be paid to the claimant within five days of applying. The current maximum advance is just half a month’s.

Twelve Month Repayment Period – January 2018

The repayment period for advance payments will be increased from six to twelve months making it easier for people to manage their finances.

Seven-day waiting period – February 2018

The Government will be scrapping the seven-day waiting period so that entitlement to Universal Credit starts on the first day of application. Currently this waiting period means that most claimants are not eligible to receive assistance with their day to day living costs or their housing charges for the first seven days after a Universal Credit claim is made.

Extra Two Weeks Housing Benefit PaymentsApril 2018

Anyone claiming Housing Benefit will continue to receive this payment for a further two weeks after making a claim for Universal Credit. This is to help prevent people falling into rent arrears.  Currently Housing Benefit stops immediately a claim for Universal Credit is made.

Delay in Full Service roll out

To allow for these new changes to Universal Credit to take place, the roll out to Full Service has been delayed.

Please see below planned new rollout dates across the area:   

May 2018

  • Chatham Job Centre Plus
  • Folkestone Job Centre Plus
  • Gravesend Job Centre Plus

June 2018

  • Ashford Job Centre Plus
  • Crawley Job Centre Plus

July 2018

  • Canterbury Job Centre Plus
  • Dartford Job Centre Plus

October 2018

  • Bexleyheath Job Centre Plus

November 2018

  • Maidstone Job Centre Plus
  • Tonbridge Job Centre Plus*

IMPORTANT: Please note Tonbridge Job Centre will be incorporating Tunbridge Wells.