Universal Credit is a new benefit, administered and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which will replace a number of existing benefits for working age applicants. You can find more details of Universal Credit and how it works on the DWP website.
Universal Credit is being introduced in the Bradford District from 30 November 2015. Initially only new single claimants aged between 18 and 60 years 6 Months, and eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance, will be able to apply. The criteria for claiming Universal Credit may change and you should check the DWP website to see if you are eligible.
If you have reached state pension age you don’t have to do anything. Pensioners do not fall within the scope of Universal Credit, so you just need to carry on claiming your benefits as you do now.
If you are single, but not eligible for Universal Credit, you can apply for Job Seekers Allowance. The DWP will be able to advise you on this.
If you are already claiming benefits you don't need to do anything now. You will be told when Universal Credit will affect you, and what you must do, by the DWP.
To receive Universal Credit, you will need to have a bank account so that your benefit and/or salary can be paid straight into it.
There are different bank accounts available, including a basic bank account, current account, building society, Post Office or one from Bradford District Credit Union.
You will need to check which bank account is best for you, as some of them don’t offer overdrafts, cheque books, or you may not be able to make outgoing regular payments for rent or bills. You can find out more about choosing a bank account from the Money Advice Service.
Further information can also be found on the gov.uk website.
If you need help with your planning and managing your budget, you can get help and advice on the Money Advice website. Or, you can get more help and advice from one of a number of Advice Services across the district.
If you have debt problems, call the Bradford & Airedale Citizens Advice Bureau Debt Advice Line: 01274 758047. Open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.00pm. Please have details of your debts ready when you call. You can also ring anytime and leave a message. The CAB will call you back on 01274 758047 or 01274 306617.
If you are a Council Tax payer and are on a low income, you may get help with your Council Tax bill through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. To apply, you must complete a Council Tax Reduction application form.
Important: The DWP will not accept an application for Council Tax Reduction or Discretionary Housing Payments – you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help with your housing costs from the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme. To apply, you must complete a Discretionary Housing Payments application form.
Important: The DWP will not accept your application for Discretionary Housing Payment – you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.
Free access to the internet can be found at all council libraries, other council buildings and some non-council organisations.