Full Service Rollout of Universal Credit
Universal Credit live service has been operating in Wrexham since March 2015 providing financial support for low income households who would have normally claimed Job Seekers Allowance.
From 4 October 2017 however Universal Credit is being expanded to all new claimants, this is known as full service Universal Credit and replaces the following six legacy benefits
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
- Employment Support Allowance (income based)
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
This means that you are not able to make a claim for Housing Benefit, but you will be able to claim Universal Credit. The amount of Universal Credit you can get depends on your circumstances and income. Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a basic standard allowance and any extra amounts which may apply to you. If appropriate you may get more money to help pay your housing costs, how much you get will depend on your circumstances.
Please note that if you have more than 3 children, you are currently not able to claim Universal Credit and would need to apply for legacy benefits.
If you live in supported housing your claim for Universal Credit will not include any housing costs. You will still need to claim Housing Benefit from the council.
For more information please visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit
This occurs when you report a qualifying change of circumstances to your legacy benefit. Some examples which may trigger a claim to Universal Credit include:
- You stop working due to sickness
- You move from out of work to in work and don’t receive tax credits
- You become responsible for a child for the first time
- You are a lone parent in receipt of Income Support and your youngest child turns 5 or permanently leaves the household
- You move address into a full service area
- You are claiming tax credits and separate from your partner
How do I claim Universal Credit?
The government expects almost everyone to claim and manage their Universal Credit Claim online. To claim Universal Credit you must setup a Universal Credit account to complete the application, you will also manage your claim through this account, therefore you will need regular online access to keep your circumstances up to date and ensure you are paid correctly
Universal Credit accounts are designed to work equally well on computers, tablets and smartphones.
To setup and maintain your account you will need the following:
- An email account which you use regularly
- The ability to create and upload documents such as your c.v.
- Be able to complete an online form entering personal data
- To scan or take images of evidence and upload these to your account
For further information, please click on the link below to watch a video (external link) explaining how to claim Universal Credit.
From 4 October 2017, the Universal Credit digital service covers the following Wrexham postcodes:
- LL11 0,1,2,3,4,5,6
- LL12 0,7,8,9
- LL13 0,7,8,9
- LL14 1,2,3,4,6,9
- LL20 7
The following postcode areas below, will go live with Universal Credit digital service in February 2018
- LL14 5
- SY13 2,3,4
- SY14 7
Help with payment of Rent
The housing costs element of Universal Credit which replaces Housing Benefit will be paid directly to you, rather than being paid to your landlord which occurs in the majority of cases for existing Housing Benefit claimants. However, those tenants who need budgeting support or who get into rent arrears after a month or two, can have the rent element and rent arrears paid directly to the landlord for a temporary period.
How is Universal Credit Paid?
To receive Universal Credit you will need an account with a Bank, Building Society or a Credit Union. Post office card accounts may not be able to accept a Universal Credit payment.
Extra help and support with Universal Credit
The government recognizes that a move to a single monthly household payment will be a significant change to the way most benefits are currently paid and has introduced Alternative Payment Arrangements which provides the following help on a temporary basis if you are identified as needing additional support:
- Payment of the Housing element of Universal Credit as a managed payment to the landlord
- Payment more frequently than monthly
- A split payment of award between partners
Personal Budgeting Support
You will be offered Personal Budgeting Support if you are deemed vulnerable and require budgeting advice to help you cope with managing your money on a monthly basis and paying your bills on time. You can receive support at any time once your claim for Universal Credit has been made. If you require further information about this please e-mail UCPBS@wrexham.gcsx.gov.uk
Digital Assisted Support
You can get help from a person with making a claim online, updating your account and reporting changes of circumstances.
Whilst this assisted support is available at a number of locations, there are other locations where just computer access is available, so if you don’t require physical support to make a claim you could visit any of these addresses to make a claim for Universal Credit yourself.
- Contact Wrexham
- Wrexham Library
- Brynteg Library
- Cefn Mawr Library
- Chirk Library
- Coedpoeth Library
- Gwersyllt Library
- Llay Library
- Overton Library
- Rhos Library
- Ruabon Library
- Contact Wrexham
- Broughton Estate Office
- Caia Estate Office
- Gwersyllt Estate Office
- Plas Madoc Estate Office
- Rhos Estate Office
Council Tax Reduction
Please note that Universal Credit does not include any help towards your Council Tax. Therefore you will need to apply for help with your council tax online.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are payments made by the council to people that are receiving Universal Credit (Housing Element) but who may still need further help with their Housing Costs.
Please e-mail HousingBenefits@wrexham.gov.uk for further information.
Free School Meals
You may also be entitled to Free School Meals if you claim Universal Credit, you should provide this information when you make a claim for Council Tax Reduction or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
More about the online claim process for Universal Credit.
For further information and to apply for Universal Credit, please see:
Welfare Rights advice line 01978 298255 (available Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1pm).
For information about claiming Council Tax Reduction Scheme or other Housing Benefit enquiries contact the Benefits Section (01978) 292033.