Universal Credit

Universal Credit has now come into force for everyone in the Bath, North East Somerset, Sedgemoor, Mendip and West Somerset, Taunton Deane, South Somerset and North Somerset

You'll be affected if: 

  • You claim benefits and your circumstances change after Universal Credit is introduced in your area
  • You become a new benefit claimant after Universal Credit is introduced in your area.

To work out how Universal Credit might affect you financially, check out our Benefits calculator page.

Universal Credit will be rolled out in other areas during 2018 and we’ll update you if you're in an area that's due to be affected. There's more information on roll out dates here.

Don't forget - we're here to help. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns about Universal Credit.

 

What benefits does universal credit replace?

  • Income support
  • Job seekers allowance
  • Working tax credit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Child tax credit
  • Housing benefit.

What happens when you claim universal credit?

  • Benefits will be paid monthly in arrears
  • If you're a couple, you'll receive one payment between you so you'll need to decide where this payment is made
  • You'll need to make your claim for Universal Credit online
  • You'll need a bank account where the benefit will be paid to one member of the household
  • Any housing benefit you're entitled to will be paid directly to you as part of your Universal Credit payment. You'll need to think about what method you're going to use to pay your rent to us.

How will it affect you?

You'll be affected if:

  • You claim benefits and your circumstances change after Universal Credit is introduced in your area
  • You become a new benefit claimant after Universal Credit is introduced in your area.

To work out how Universal Credit might affect you financially, check out our Benefits calculator page.

What you need to do

Set up a bank account with a high street bank

If you don’t have bank account, you’ll need to set one up soon so your Universal Credit gets paid to you. You can set up a basic bank account at most high street banks.

You don’t usually have to pay a monthly fee for the account, or get offered an overdraft. You should be able to set up a Direct Debit to pay your regular bills, including rent.

You can also set up a current account, which you may get an overdraft for.

Set up an account with a credit union

Another option is to set up an account with a credit union (they’re member run cooperatives offering saving and loans). Some credit unions also offer a current account, but you usually get charged a weekly fee if you withdraw money that week.  

You can’t go overdrawn, as they don’t offer overdrafts, and you can run this account alongside your savings account with the credit union. They may also be able to help you manage your money and can agree with you what regular bills you need to pay, make sure money is put by, then arrange payments for you. You then know what’s left in your account for you to use.

If you’d like to join a credit union, visit Find your credit union.

Think about budgeting

As Universal Credit is paid monthly, in arrears, you may need to get used to a different way of managing your money. You might be used to budgeting on a weekly or fortnightly basis for example. Take a look at our useful Be Money Ready website for all kinds of money-related tips and advice to help you with the change.

Ways to pay your rent to us

The easiest way to pay is by direct debit every month, on a day that suits you. If you’d like to set up a direct debit please give us a call and we'll be happy to help. You’ll need your bank account details to hand.

There are other ways to pay and you’ll need your PayPass card to make a payment. If you don't have a card, or you’ve lost it, please let us know and we'll order you a new one. 

You can pay your rent and service charge: 

  • Online via Allpay
    You'll need your 19 digit Allpay payment card number. If you don't have this number, have a chat with the Income Team
  • By Direct Debit
    Have a chat with the Income Team or your Support Worker if you want to know more
  • By standing order
    Have a chat with the Income Team or your Support Worker if you want to know more
  • Over the phone by debit or credit card
    Call the automated payment service 24 hours a day on 0330 0416 497
  • By text using a debit or credit card
    You'll need to register your Allpay card first here then text 'pay' along with your password and the amount to 81025
  • By mobile phone using the Allpay app
  • At our office by debit or credit card
  • At a shop with a PayPoint outlet by cash or debit card
  • At a Post Office by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.

You can see your current balance and check your rent statement by logging in to your account.