Universal Credit is a single monthly payment, paid once a month into your bank account – and you’ll have to pay your rent out of this payment. We want to do all we can to help you make sure you’re able to always pay your rent first.
Take a look at this short film about how we can help you when you're moved onto Universal Credit.
What is Universal Credit?
It’s a new benefit for those in and out of work. To be eligible you must:
- be between 18-65 years old
- have less than £16,000 savings
- not be in full time education or training
It replaces the six benefits listed below - combining them into one monthly payment:
- Income related Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Housing Benefits
Anyone can make a new claim for Universal Credit. However, if you’re on one of the benefits listed above already you won’t have to, unless your circumstances have changed enough that you need to make a new claim for one of these benefits.
If you’re already claiming one of these benefits and your circumstances don’t change, the Department of Work and Pensions will invite you to apply for Universal Credit before the end of 2024. It’s really important that you respond to this letter within one month of receiving it or your benefits will stop and you could lose out.
Changes to Universal Credit for those in work and claiming – December 2021
The government has announced that from 1 December 2021 it will:
- Reduce the Universal Credit taper rate from 63% to 55%
- Increase the work allowances (the amount that you can earn before your Universal Credit begins to be reduced if you have kids or have a limited capability for work) by £500 a year.
Taper rate reduction
If you're in work and claiming Universal Credit, there's no limit to the number of hours you can work, but the amount you of Universal Credit you get is currently cut by 63p in every £1 you earn. However, the Government is changing this to 55p in every £1 earned - which means that from 1 December 2021, you'll get an additional 8p per £1.
Increase in work allowances
If you’re working and claiming Universal Credit, and you have kids or have limited capability for work, you’ll now take home more cash before the taper rate hits – the amount you can earn now is £293 a month, but from 1 December it go up by £42 a month to £335 a month.
Check before you claim with this Benefit Calculator
It's really important that if you make a new claim for Universal Credit to find out if you'll be better or worse off by making a new claim. To help you decide, you can use this benefit calculator. By inputting your current circumstances, it will let you know if you are better off or not under Universal Credit.
How is Universal Credit different?
It’s fully digital. You’ll need an e-mail to be able to make a claim. Once you have a claim up and running you will have an account called a ‘journal’.
You will have to login in regularly and check your ‘to do’ list and complete any actions. You can also send messages and documents to your work coach as well as check the amount of Universal Credit you are due to receive that month.
You can do it on your computer, smart phone, tablet or you can get online at your local library or at the JobCentre.
One, single monthly payment
One of the big changes with Universal Credit is that you'll get one payment of Universal Credit on the same day each month. If you're used to getting your money weekly, this will be a big change as you'll need to budget your money to make it last the month. Our budgeting calculator can help you to work out your budget as well as providing tips on budgeting.
For more information on how to use this, watch our budget calculator film.
Pay your rent first
The Housing Element to pay your rent will be included in your monthly payment – and you must then put it aside to pay Nottingham City Homes. Your rent is your most important outgoing, as it keeps the roof over your head – so you must always pay your Rent First.
If you live with a partner you’ll get one monthly payment between you paid into one account.
We can help...
Our Tenant Academy runs regular FREE digital and IT courses to help you get the skills you need. Call us on 0115 746 9100 to find details of upcoming courses.
You’ll have to attend the Job Centre and sign a personalised claimant commitment with your Work Coach. What’s in it and what the Job Centre will expect from you will be dependent on your circumstances, so make sure you tell them.
If you’re unemployed and able to work, you could be expected to look or prepare for work for 35 hours a week, depending on your circumstances.
Job-related activities that count towards your 35 hours can include:
- searching for jobs
- applying for jobs
- travelling to interviews
- visiting potential employers
- meeting your work coach
- activities to improve your job seeking
- taking part in training courses
We can help…
We have an employability team that offers support and advice to help you find a job. This includes practical support such as CV writing and interview skills, training opportunities and work experience. Visit our employability pages for more information.
How Universal Credit is paid
It has to be paid into a bank account
You will need a bank account to receive your monthly Universal Credit payment. It’s best to get a basic bank account that has no overdraft facility and will allow you to set up Direct Debits.
We can help…
Universal Credit is a big change. If you’re struggling and need advice, let us know. Our Tenancy Sustainment Team can help with benefits, debt, budgeting advice and opening a bank account.
Call on 0115 915 4920, email us or text the word ‘DOSH’ and your message for FREE to 80800.
We’ll also be doing lots on social media over the coming weeks – so make sure you like us on Facebook – search Nottingham City Homes.
Find out more on the Universal Credit website.