Copeland CAB – here to help with Universal Credit

Whitehaven office on 01946 693321; Millom office on 01229 772395 ‘You will have to wait five weeks for your first payment and you will need to make your claim online’ […]

Whitehaven office on 01946 693321; Millom office on 01229 772395

‘You will have to wait five weeks for your first payment and you will need to make your claim online’

UNIVERSAL Credit is a major change to the benefit system and has already been introduced to some groups of people in Copeland. It will alter the way that benefits are claimed and paid and Copeland CAB can help explain how it may affect you and advise on the options available to you.
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working age and can be paid whether someone is working, seeking work or unable to work. It is paid and managed monthly and most people are expected to seek or be in full time work whilst on it.
It will replace Income Support, income based Job Seekers Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
Several benefits will remain in place outside Universal Credit and these include Council Tax reduction, contribution based Job Seekers Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, Attendance Allowance and DLA for children, Carers Allowance, Bereavement Benefits, Industrial Injuries Benefits, Child Benefit and War Pensions.
There are major changes between Universal Credit and the benefits it replaces including that it will be paid monthly and any help with your rent is included in that monthly payment. You will also have to wait five weeks for your first payment and you will need to make your claim online.
Those people currently expected to claim Universal Credit are limited to some job seekers who are single, members of couples or who have children. The government intend to extend claims to many more groups of people by the end of 2017.
Here are some ideas how Copeland Citizens Advice Bureau can help and advise people making a claim for Universal Credit:
1. We can help you claim the benefits you are entitled to.
2. We can help you work out a plan for budgeting on a monthly basis.
3. If monthly payments make budgeting difficult we can help to arrange fortnightly payments of your benefit.
4. The first payment is likely to be at least five weeks from when you claim, we can help you to arrange an advance payment to bridge this gap.
5. If you have problems managing your money or a history of rent arrears we can help you ask for your rent to be paid directly to your landlord.
If you are already claiming Universal Credit and need help to budget then appointments can be arranged with the CAB by asking your work coach at Jobcentre Plus.
If you are not already claiming Universal Credit or for anything else then appointments can be arranged by calling our Whitehaven office on 01946 693321 or our Millom office on 01229 772395.