From January 2018, the amount a claimant can receive from an advance payment of Universal Credit has been increased from up to 50% of their estimated entitlement to up to 100% including housing costs. Claimants will be able to receive an advance payment within five days of applying. The period in which the advance is recovered will be increased from six months to 12 months.
On 14 February 2018, the government will remove the seven-day waiting period for Universal Credit, so that the claim starts from the date of application. This means that if Universal Credit is paid on time, claimants will wait five weeks for their first payment instead of six weeks.
From April 2018 those already on Housing Benefit will continue to receive their award for the first two weeks of their Universal Credit claim. This will be an unrecoverable payment.
The government will also make it easier for claimants to have the housing element of their award paid directly to their landlord.
The Government expects that Universal Credit will be rolled out to all areas of the country by the end of December 2018 for new Universal Credit claimants. Families with three or more children, however, won't be able to start Universal Credit claims until 1 February 2019 onwards. They will be moving claimants on the existing benefit system over to Universal Credit from July 2019.
The government has changed the way that benefits are paid to some people. Find out how it could affect you or a loved one.
It has already been introduced in Sedgemoor and eventually everyone of working age will be moved onto Universal Credit if they receive:
Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
There will be changes to the way you claim and are paid Universal Credit. You will also be expected to budget your money to make it last until the next monthly payment.
The money to pay YOUR RENT will be paid to YOU and YOU will have to make sure it is paid to us ON TIME, EVERY TIME.
Please do remember, if you don't pay your rent, or fall behind, your home will be at risk and you may not be rehoused if evicted.
Don't let that happen to you! Contact us for free, confidential advice on Universal Credit and budgeting your money.
You can find out more about Universal Credit by visiting the Gov.uk Universal Credit website.
This video shows you how to apply for Universal Credit and manage your UC account:
If you don't have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment you may be able to get an advance of your first Universal Credit payment. Click on this link.
Dont forget to update your Universal Credit journal
Don't forget to update your UC journal with your rent & service charge amounts. Not doing this could lead to your claim being stopped.