Universal Credit is a service by the UK government, which entitles citizens to claim financial benefits in the event that they have low incomes or not it employment. However, it should be noted that this plan only applies to citizens in some parts of the United Kingdom as the release is done in stages. The benefits of claim can only be obtained after application and approval of the same. The payments are made just once in a month to the respective person whose application is successful.
In order for you to understand how this plan works, there are certain key aspects about it that you should know. The payments made with regards to a claim combines some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be receiving currently. The introduction of the plan has phased out elements like working tax benefit, housing benefit, income-based job-seeker’s allowance, child tax credit and income support.
Requirements for Universal Credit Application
In case you are on a low income job or unemployed, you may opt to apply for benefits that come along with this plan. However, there are some basic requirements that you must produce before making an application, including:
- Your postcode
- Your National Insurance Number
- Details of the bank, credit union or building society account that you want the benefits deposited to.
- Your rent agreement (if you have one)
- Details about your savings or alternative capital
- Information about any income besides work, may be from an insurance plan
- Details of any other benefits that you are receiving.
You may also be asked to provide information about some of the people living in your home like a spouse. With the above, you can go ahead and make an application to start receiving the benefits.
Steps on how to apply for Universal Credit
The following are the steps on how to make a claim for universal credit;
- Check whether the plan is available in your area or region
From the UK government’s website, you will be able to see a list of eligible areas. In case your region is covered by the service, you can either apply online or visit the indicated offices.
- Carefully read and fill out the application forms
Whether you are applying offline or online via the government portal, it is always advisable to read the forms first and know the required information, without rushing.
- Wait for feedback
Completing the claim online will take you about just 20 to 40 minutes, upon which the form will undergo verification. There is a waiting period of seven days, after submission of claim upon which you will know whether you qualified for the benefits or not.
If your application is successful, you will be able to receive the first installment of payment within one month and 14 days after making claim.
Universal Credit has also unleashed a new digital service that you can easily apply with if your postcode starts with; SM5 2, SM6 7, SM6 9, CRO 2, CRO 4 and SE1 5.
How Payments Are Made
The monthly benefits will be paid directly into the account given during application. In case you are living with a spouse who also claims the benefits, only one of you will get the payment. You will receive a letter showing the amount that you are entitled to, when the payments are usually delivered and the account to which the money will be deposited.
If the benefits cover your rent, the payment will be made directly to the landlord to avoid problems that may occur as a result of poor budgeting. However, you can also seek Money Advise Service for help with budgeting the benefits.
Conditions for Receiving Universal Credit
After you start, receiving the benefits, circumstances may change. For instance, you may get employment. In the event that such happens, you will not be limited on the number of working hours per week if you are getting the credit.
As your earnings increase, the payment will be gradually cut. Besides, those on low income jobs will not lose their benefits at once.
In case of problems in making an application or claiming the benefits, there is a Universal Credit helpline for assistance.
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