How will I be affected?
From the 28th November 2018, most people living in Redcar & Cleveland will no longer be able to make a new claim for one of the six benefits Universal Credit replaces.
If you are already receiving one of these benefits you will continue as normal until you are told by the DWP that you need to claim Universal Credit. The DWP are expecting to start contacting existing claimants by phase from July 2019 onwards.
If you have a change in circumstances on or after the 28th November which would lead to a new claim for one of the six replaced benefits you will be advised to claim Universal Credit instead. Examples of Changes in Circumstances can be found here.
By claiming Universal Credit existing entitlement to any of the six benefits will cease. If you are in this situation, before making a claim for Universal Credit you should seek specialist advice from our Welfare Rights Service.
Some people will not be affected: -
- If you are of state pension credit age, you will not need to claim UC. From the 1st February 2019 if you are responsible for a child or qualifying young person you can claim additional amounts of money as part of your Pension Credit claim as long as you are not already claiming child tax credit.
- If you are living in temporary, specified or supported accommodation you will still be eligible to claim help with housing costs through Housing Benefit. Help for daily living expenses will still need to be claimed through Universal Credit.
- If you are receiving income based Jobseekers Allowance, income related Employment & Support Allowance, Income Support or Housing Benefit which includes a Severe Disability Premium or you have received one of these benefits in the last month which includes a Severe Disability Premium you will not be eligible to claim Universal Credit and should be signposted to one of the replaced benefits. If you are unsure of whether this is or was the case please contact our Welfare Rights Service who would be happy to help.
To find out how your income will be affected use the benefit calculators detailed on www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators.
Existing claimants who are moved over to Universal Credit from July 2019 may be entitled to 'transitional protection' subject to government updates. Transitional Protection is an extra 'transitional' amount which tops up your Universal Credit so that you are not worse off when the DWP move you onto the benefit. Transitional Protection is not available yet and is not available to people who claim Universal Credit as a result of a change in circumstance.
It can take around 5 weeks for your first payment of Universal Credit to reach your account. Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, you'll have to wait one calendar month from the date you submitted your claim then up to 7 days for the payment to reach your account. If you are struggling to manage in the meantime you can claim an Advance Payment but this will have to be paid back. More information on how to do this can be found at www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
If you are left without income due to not receiving a Universal Credit payment that you are entitled to, the Council has a Social Fund Team who may be able to help.