Managing your money on Universal Credit
Universal Credit replaces the following legacy benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
Moving to Universal Credit
Universal Credit has been rolled out across the UK for:
- new claimants
- and people who must make a new claim due to a change in circumstances
There are exceptions to this.
Check if you can get Universal Credit (Citizens Advice)
If you are receiving a legacy benefit and do not have a change in circumstances, you do not need to do anything until the DWP contacts you about moving to Universal Credit.
If you have to claim Universal Credit, you will wait at least 5 weeks for your first payment.
If you move to Universal Credit, your existing claim will end.
You will get a 'run-on' payment, worth up to 2 weeks of your old benefits and premiums. This includes:
- Income Support
- income-based JSA
- income-based ESA
- enhanced disability premium
- carer premium
- ESA work-related activity component
You do not need to pay this back. It will not affect the amount of UC you get.
More about run-on payments (GOV.UK)
Warning Prioritise your bills
It’s important to budget so that you can pay important bills. You should prioritise:
- rent or mortgage to avoid losing your home
- Council Tax and court fines as you could go to prison if you do not pay
- energy bills because it's important to stay warm
Change in circumstances
You must contact DWP if your situation changes. The DWP calls this a change in circumstances. Your claim could be reduced or stopped if you do not report this change immediately.
If your circumstances have not changed, you do not need to claim Universal Credit until DWP contacts you.Check if a change affects your Universal Credit (Citizens Advice)
Help claiming Universal Credit
You can contact the Universal Credit helpline if:
Universal Credit Helpline (GOV.UK)
Citizens Advice run a Help to Claim service to help you:
work out if you can get Universal Credit
fill in the Universal Credit application
prepare for your first job centre appointment
check your first payment is correct
Help to Claim (Citizens Advice)
Dealing with deductions
If you have an overpayment under the Universal Credit system, the DWP will take a monthly deduction from your Universal Credit.
What is an overpayment under the Universal Credit system (Turn 2 Us)
Overpayments can happen because of:
- incomplete information on your claim form
- failure to mention a change in circumstances
- an unpaid loan from the DWP
- the late award of another benefit or income
- a banking error
- an official error
If you’ve been overpaid and cannot repay, seek benefits advice (MoneyHelper).
Last reviewed by Scope on: 18/08/2020
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