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Advice about universal credit

Steps to claim universal credit

  1. Claim universal credit online.
  2. Attend the meeting with your job centre work coach to complete your claim, and provide any evidence.

For more information on this process, see the Universal Credit Welcome Guide.

Who still applies for housing benefit

Most people of working age can claim universal credit for help with housing costs, if eligible. However, universal credit will not cover housing costs for someone if they are a:

  • person in supported or temporary housing
  • person with three or more children
  • pensioner, who also does not live with a working age adult

Should you be in one of these groups, continue to claim housing benefit via My Account.

If you are a pensioner living with someone of working age and they want to claim universal credit, you could be covered by their claim. Their universal credit payment would be for the household as a whole, which would include you. Alternatively, you can continue to claim for housing benefit separately to them.

Someone in supported or temporary housing may claim universal credit. However that claim will not include housing costs, and so they should also claim separately for housing benefit through My Account.

18 to 21 year olds

Universal credit does not cover housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds. However, exceptions to this rule include people:

  • responsible for a child
  • in receipt of a disability benefit
  • who are care leavers
  • who live in temporary accommodation

More details about universal credit are available on the government’s website.

Continue to claim a council tax reduction

If you claim universal credit, you can still claim a council tax reduction. This is not done through universal credit, but instead, you must apply through My Account with the ‘Housing benefit and council tax reduction form’. However you will still need to claim housing benefit separately through the DWP’s universal credit system.

People who do not claim universal credit can also claim council tax reductions through My Account, if eligible. Alternatively you can apply for council tax reductions by contacting us.

Contact

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Team

Bridgend County Borough Council
Telephone: 01656 643396
Address: Benefits Section, Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB.

The scope of universal credit

Universal credit is a single payment for people looking for work, or on a low income. It replaces:

  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • income support
  • working tax credit
  • child tax credit
  • housing benefit

Differences between universal credit and other benefits

Universal credit is paid differently to other benefits. Someone who would have had several separate payments will get a single payment for their household. It is paid monthly in arrears into a bank, building society, post office or credit union account.

The part of your universal credit payment which is for rent is called the housing element. You will need to pay the housing element to your landlord yourself.

Moving onto universal credit from other benefits

If you're already claiming one or more of the benefits being phased out, you should carry on claiming as normal. However, if you report a relevant change of circumstance about an old benefit, you may switch onto universal credit. Some examples of changes which can trigger the move are:

  • being a lone parent in receipt of income support, and your youngest child turns five or permanently leaves the household
  • becoming responsible for a child for the first time
  • stopping work due to sickness
  • moving address into a full service area, which Bridgend County Borough is
  • claiming tax credits, and that you separate from your partner

Information for landlords

Find more information about tenants claiming universal credit here.

Help to claim universal credit

You can access the internet for free on the computers at:

These places can also assist with job searches and CV writing.
Our Housing Benefit Team can help with digital support too. Contact us for an appointment.

Contact:

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Team
Email: benefits@bridgend.gov.uk
Telephone: 01656 643396
Benefits Section
Bridgend County Borough Council
Civic Offices
Angel Street
CF31 4WB

In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to claim by phone or with a home visit. Contact the universal credit helpline on 0345 60007233 to explain your circumstances and ask if this is possible.

If you are vulnerable and need advice to manage your monthly finances and pay bills on time, you will be offered personal budgeting support. Also we can assist you to open a bank account to receive universal credit payments. You can receive support at any time once your claim for universal credit has been made. Contact us for an appointment.

Contact

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Team
Email: benefits@bridgend.gov.uk
Telephone: 01656 643396
Benefits Section
Bridgend County Borough Council
Civic Offices
Angel Street
CF31 4WB

These notes are for guidance only. Further information on Universal Credit is available online.

Free school meals

You may also be entitled to free school meals if you claim universal credit. Please contact us on 01656 643396 for more information.

Changes to benefits since June 2018

Since 6 June 2018, most people eligible for help with housing costs will receive universal credit. People of working age can no longer make new claims for housing benefit, but must claim for housing costs through universal credit instead.

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