What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a single payment that has been introduced by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) that replaces all working-age benefits. So if you claim any of the benefits below you need to be clued up about Universal Credit as it will affect you.
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
How does it work?
- You’ll get one single payment, paid monthly in arrears. This will include your living costs, housing costs (this is a payment made to you to cover your rent) and childcare costs if you have children.
- If you’re in a couple, you will both have to submit a claim online and only one of you will receive the payment for both of you.
- You are responsible for paying your rent directly to SLH.
- Your Universal Credit payment is paid into your bank account
- You will be expected to make and manage your claim online.
This page gives you information about how you can prepare now for Universal Credit so that you are in the know when you make a claim.
How to claim Universal Credit
1. Get an email address
You need to have an email address when you apply for Universal Credit. If you are claiming as a couple, you will each need your own email address.
If you are struggling to create an email address, there is help available. Contact Reach, our employment and training hub, on 0151 285 5680, who will put you in touch with someone who can help.
2. Open a bank account
You need to have a bank or credit union account when you are making your claim. This is the best way that your Universal Credit payment can be paid to you.
If you haven’t got a bank account when you submit your claim, you can give your bank details to your work coach at your interview. More help on opening a bank account.
3. Verify yourself online
To submit a claim for Universal Credit you need to verify your identity online. This is to prove you are who you say you are.
Go to www.gov.uk/verify. Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to do this before you claim for Universal Credit, just ring the helpline on 0800 328 5644 and ask for an appointment to verify your identity.
4. Make your claim
Great news! You’re now ready to make your claim. You can do this at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.
You will also need: your national insurance number, details of how much rent you pay, information about your income such as pay slips, details of any savings and childcare payment costs if necessary. If you need help making your claim, our benefits advisors can help you.
5. Pay your rent
It is your responsibility that your rent is paid. Your claim will consist of a personal allowance and a housing cost.
You will receive this in your bank account as one monthly Universal Credit payment. You will need to pay SLH your full rent payment immediately.
If you don’t, you will fall into rent arrears and this could put you at risk of losing your home.
6. View your journal each day
You need to view and update your online journal every day.
You will use this journal to record what activities you have completed and make contact with your work coach.
You need to do this daily otherwise your Universal Credit payments will stop.
Universal Credit advice
In-depth advice from our benefits advice team.
Visit our office
Call into our office or write to us:
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