Universal Credit Update

Universal Credit will be rolled out in full in Brighton & Hove over the coming months. Universal Credit replaces Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (income based), Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

This means that most working age people who make a new claim for benefits, or have a significant change of circumstances will claim Universal Credit, not the benefits they would claim now. Some single people are already able to claim Universal Credit.

The key differences between Universal Credit and current benefits are:

  • It has to be claimed and maintained online
  • The rent element will normally be paid to the person claiming, not their landlord
  • Payment will normally be made once a month to one person in the household.
  • The first payment will normally take at least six weeks but people can talk to the Jobcentre about asking for an advance payment
  • Help with housing costs for 18-21 year olds has been restricted to those that are deemed to be vulnerable

If any of these issues could cause problems for people it is very important that they tell the Jobcentre about them so they can be appropriately helped, this includes people with alcohol/drug problems and physical or mental health issues. The Jobcentre can advise about how a person can get help to go online, help with budgeting, find out about advance payments and about possible different ways of getting paid.

Brighton & Hove City Council have produced a booklet for professionals who support claimants who may be on benefits. It explains some of the main changes and where people can get additional help in Brighton & Hove: Universal Credit in Brighton & Hove

For more information on Universal Credit please visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit 
For links to local information go to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/universal-credit