Universal Credit: what you need to know
Universal Credit has been in place in Northampton since 2015. This dictates the way your benefits are paid and how you manage your household budget. You must apply for, and manage, your benefits online and have access to a bank account.
What is Universal Credit?
The government made a number of changes to the benefit system over the past few years but the biggest of them so far is the introduction of Universal Credit (UC).
Universal Credit replaced these benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support (IS)
- Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
It means that instead of getting different types of benefits at different times, any of these benefits you are entitled to will be included in one monthly Universal Credit payment.
By working age, this means people aged between 18 and the qualifying age for Pension Credit.
Who is affected?
Not everyone who currently claims benefits will be affected immediately (only new single JSA claimants initially); however, over the next few years existing working-age claimants will be moved to Universal Credit.
Council Tax Reduction
Universal Credit does not include help with paying your Council Tax bill and you must still apply for this online, via our website. Find out more about this and how Universal Credit may affect you if you are in rented housing on our Universal Credit FAQs page.