Housing Benefit

Universal Credit

Service Update:

Universal Credit is a new type of financial support provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and it  is being introduced to the Newport Job Centre on 6 June 2018 and Ryde Job Centre on 24 October 2018. Please continue to read this web page because this new service will effect Housing Benefit applications.

 Universal Credit on the Isle of Wight

Universal Credit is a new type of financial support provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, for people of working age who are looking for work or on a low income  This is being introduced to the Newport Job Centre on 6 June 2018 and Ryde Job Centre on 24 October 2018.  From these dates you can no longer apply for Housing Benefit unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • If you are a resident in supported exempt accommodation or you have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Isle of Wight Council Homelessness team you must inform Universal Credit of this and make a claim for Housing Benefit with Isle of Wight Council.
  • If you have reached State Pension Credit age.
  • You are a part of a couple where one of you has reached State Pension Credit age.
  • You are receiving Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance with no Universal Credit top up.
  • You are receiving Contribution-related Employment and Support Allowance with no Universal Credit top up.
  • If you are receiving the severe disability premium as part of your Jobseekers Allowance income-based, Employment and Support income-related or Income Support.

 To make sure you don’t miss out on Universal Credit, enter your postcode through the GOV.UK website .

If you don't qualify for Universal Credit you may need to apply for Housing Benefit. View more information and to apply for Housing Benefit.

What is Universal Credit

Universal is a new simpler, single monthly payment for people in and out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now. Universal Credit will replace:

  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance.
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Income Support.
  • Child Tax Credits.
  • Working Tax Credit.
  • Housing Benefit.

The amount you will receive will depend on your level of income and other family circumstances.  If you are claiming any of the benefits that are being replaced, your claim will continue unless you have a change of circumstances that trigger a claim for Universal Credit.  

Eventually you will be moved onto Universal Credit, even if you have no change of circumstances.  The move to Universal Credit has been planned to happen between July 19 and March 2022.

How Universal Credit is different

Universal Credit will be a single monthly payment from DWP into a bank account. It will be paid in a different way to current benefits.

  • It will be paid monthly into an account you choose.
  • If you get help with your rent, this will be included in with your monthly payment - you will then pay your landlord yourself.
  • If you or your partner are both eligible, you will get one monthly payment for the household.


How to apply and manage your claim

Universal Credit will generally be made and managed online through the DWP website.  You can check on your payments and updates through your online account.  Before completing your claim, you must sign up to GOV.UK Verify, this is a new service that will verify your identity online so you can access government services. Visit the online GOV.UK Verify website.

If you do not have access to the internet at home you can access it at your local Library, Job Centre or Gateway.

To apply for Universal Credit online please visit the GOV.UK website - apply for universal credit - you will need the following information before you make a claim. Once you have made a claim Universal Credit will contact you to attend a face to face interview.

  • You (and your partners) National Insurance Number.
  • Your Postcode.
  • Your email address.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your Landlords address
  • How much rent you are paying.
  • Your bank account details.
  • If working - your expected monthly wage.
  • Details of any savings you have.
  • Details of any other income your receive.
  • An email address for communication purposes.


How Universal Credit is Paid and Opening a Bank Account

Universal Credit will be paid into a bank account, building society or credit union account but not a Post Office card account, so it is important to ensure you have an account.

Opening a current account with a bank can be difficult if you are on a low income or if you have had poor credit history.  Below is an alternative to a current account that will allow anyone to open one and do not allow you to go overdrawn that provide easy access to your money and direct debits. 

A basic bank account - these accounts have most of the features of current accounts that allow you to pay money in and take it out but do not allow you to go overdrawn.  Having a bank account will help you manage your bills.  You can set up a monthly direct debit for your rent and your bills so they are always automatically paid on time, which will take the worry out of budgeting. A basic bank account is available to everyone including those with previous or existing debt problems. These accounts are designed to be easy to open and easy to manage. Basic bank accounts are available from most banks and building societies.

For further information about opening a basic bank account, please visit the link provided below:

Managing your Money

It is important that you know your household budget, your income and spending and prepare for any changes coming your way.  If you are in danger of losing your home or getting into debt you should seek specialist advice.

For further information, or advice, please visit the Understanding Universal Credit  website provided by DWP  or telephone Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644

The Money Advice Service provides help and support and can assist with;

  • Step-by-step questions that sign-post users to financial guidance and support relevant to their personal circumstances.
  • Hints and tips for managing money and paying bills from a monthly payment.
  • Sign-posting to further support, such as Advanced Payments and free debt advice.

Find out more about the Money Advice Service Online Money Manager.