So you have heard or been advised that you need to claim Universal Credit. Maybe a neighbour is claiming Universal Credit so you think it is time for you to claim Universal Credit?
Before you go ahead and claim Universal Credit, check whether you actually need to and/or whether you will be worse off or better off.
To work out when you will be effected by UC there is a couple of things you need to think about.
Do you have more than 2 children?
UC will not accept new claims from people with more than 2 dependent children until February 2019. You would be directed to claim legacy "old style" benefits.
Is it a full service area?
If not then you are not allowed to claim UC yet in your area. You would be directed to claim legacy "old style" benefits.
Full service areas will accept claims from anyone who is 18 or over, on a low income or unemployed, not in full-time education or training.
You may in some cases get Universal Credit if you’re 16 or 17 or a full-time student.
Do you need to make a new claim for a benefit? it replaces
Some common examples of this are -
A common area of confusion is tax credits. Changing income or job is not a reason for tax credits to end. Either is a renewal, adding disability premium, adding childcare. As long as you always have an entitlement to tax credits then you can adjust tax credits as much as you like.
If there is no new claim for one of these benefits then you will not not be affected until 2019-2022
There is a wealth of information in the Universal Credit section of our web siteWe do advise people to check elsewhere if they have been told to claim UC by DWP or HMRC as they are not always correct.
The BASE adviser team are available to help you check whether you need to claim Universal Credit or whether you might be better off staying on the existing benefit system.
Chat to one of them today and put your mind at rest!