Universal Credit is paid by the government, not by Thurrock Council – go to GOV.UK: Universal Credit.
Universal Credit replaces:
- housing benefit
- income support
- income-based jobseeker's allowance
- income-related employment and support allowance
- child tax credit
- working tax credit
Universal Credit is calculated as a basic allowance for a single person or couple, plus additional amounts for:
- each child or qualifying young person for whom you are responsible, with extra additions if they are disabled
- childcare costs
- claimants with a 'limited capability for work' - this means you are unable to work due to illness or disability
- claimants with regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person
- housing costs – mortgage interest payments and rent payments for unemployed claimants
You will get the full allowance possible if your household has no other income and has less than £6,000 savings.
There will be no award if your savings are over £16,000.
Universal Credit is payable whether or not you are working. If you are on a low income and are moving in and out of work, Universal Credit will remain in payment and be adjusted to suit your new financial circumstances.
For more information, go to Money Advice Service: Universal credit explained.
When the changes may affect you
From 25 October 2017, anyone who would have made a new claim for Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance must make a claim for Universal Credit instead.
You don't need to do anything if you're already claiming any benefits – you will be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
You can use online benefits calculators to find out how Universal Credit will affect you – go to GOV.UK: benefits calculators. These calculators will show you what benefits you could get, how to claim and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.