Universal Credit replaces six existing benefits with a single monthly payment and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The six benefits are:
All other benefits will remain unchanged.
Universal Credit started in Runnymede on 29 February 2016. It currently only applies to single people with no children. It will eventually be rolled out to all Housing Benefit claimants of working age but, at present, we have no information on when. We will publish details on this page when they are known.
How to claim
You can check to see if you are eligible to apply for Universal Credit on the Universal Credit website.
From 29 February 2016, single people in Runnymede, with no responsibility for children, should claim Universal Credit.
You don't need to do anything if you're already claiming any benefits as you'll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
You may be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance or other benefits if you don't live in a qualifying area or if you're not eligible to claim Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is applied for online from the Department of Work and Pensions. See Claiming Universal Credit online. After you have claimed you will need to check payments and updates through your online account.
How you'll be paid
Universal Credit is paid once a month into your bank or building society account.
Any help you get for the payment of your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and then you'll have pay your landlord.
Please read online the Department of Work and Pensions' Universal Credit: guide to managing payments.
How to prepare for Universal Credit
Set up a bank or building society account if you don't already have one, or join a credit union such as BOOM Credit Union
Check if your account is suitable for managing benefit payments on the Money Advice Service website.
Make sure you budget on a monthly rather than weekly basis.
Set up automated bill payments to pay rent to your landlord (see below).
Work out how much money you'll have coming in each month and what you need to spend it on. Runnymede Council staff are available at the Civic Centre to help with personal budgeting for managing your income and outgoings.
You will have to claim and manage your Universal Credit account online. See UK Online Centres for details of where to get online for free. Council staff at the Civic Centre can also help you apply.
How to pay your landlord
Money to help with your rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. You'll then need to pay your landlord the rent in full.
We would advise you to set up automated payments, such as a Standing Order, to pay your landlord on the day you get your Universal Credit payment.
If you have a credit union account or a prepaid card account, check you can set up automated payments. If you can't, check the Money Advice Service website to find a different provider.
If you have a Post Office card account, you won't be able to set up automatic payments.
Contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.