About Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a key part of the government's welfare reform policy and replaces the following benefits with a single monthly  award:

  • Jobseekers Allowance (income-based JSA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

What will change

Universal Credit will be paid as a single payment for your household. It will be paid into your bank, building society or credit union account once a month, in arrears.

If your payment includes housing costs to help with your rent, you'll need to pay this to your landlord yourself.

For more information on what this means, please visit the Universal Credit website.

Universal Credit full service is coming to Reading from 6 December 2017.

Some people have been able to claim Universal Credit in Reading before this date, but 6 December 2017 everyone will be able to apply, unless they are:

  • of State Pension age - check your state pension age
  • live in a property with a postcode that starts RG30 3, RG30 4, RG31 4, RG31 5, RG31 6 or RG31 7 - you will not be able to claim UC until 17 January 2018
  • have three or more dependent children living in their household
  • are resident in 'supported exempt accommodation' - generally hostels or sheltered housing

These exempt groups can continue to claim Housing Benefit.

What to do

For new claims or a change in circumstances, you will now have to claim Universal Credit. If you are already receiving Housing Benefit, you must tell us that you have made a claim for UC so that we can cancel your Housing Benefit. You will also have to make sure you have a claim for Council Tax Support as it will not be backdated if you claim at a later date.

You will be responsible for paying your rent to your landlord. You will need to have details on how to pay your landlord (your landlord's bank details and possibly your rent reference number). If you are unsure of these details, please contact your landlord.

Council tenants - Paying your rent

Universal Credit does not cover help towards Council Tax or free school meals - these need to be applied for separately.

Council Tax support and Council Tax discounts and exemptions 

Free school meals

 

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