About Universal Credit
The Government has introduced Universal Credit in Bracknell Forest since 28 September 2015. Universal Credit has replaced six main benefits for people of working age who are out of work or who are on a low income. It is paid as a single monthly payment and has replaced the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Universal Credit is paid directly in to your bank, building society or credit union account and is paid once a month. If you do not have a bank account then you will need to set one up. You will be responsible for making payments to your landlord, because the Universal Credit payment includes a payment for housing.
For more information see the Universal Credit Welcome Guide
Who can apply?
Universal Credit is being introduced gradually depending on your circumstances and it may be some time before you are affected by any changes. In Bracknell Forest, currently only single people who are looking for work are able to make a claim for Universal Credit. To claim, you must meet all the criteria which has been set by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Please make your claim as soon as you can as the DWP cannot back date your claim. You need to apply online at GOV.UK and you will manage your claim through an online account. If you need help, get in contact with our Benefits team who will be able to meet with you or phone you with support.
Will it cover my council tax?
Universal Credit will include any housing costs you are entitled to, but it doesn’t include financial help for council tax.
You may be eligible to receive council tax reduction. This is means tested and so the amount you receive will depend on how much Universal Credit you get plus any other income or benefits. You can apply for council tax reduction whether you own your home or if you rent. You can apply for this by completing the council tax reduction claim form. Alternatively you may contact us on 01344 352010 or email the Benefits team.