Universal Credit is the Government's flagship welfare reform. It is a new type of benefit, administered by the Department of Work and Pensions, designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. Universal Credit is replacing 6 existing working age benefits (pensioners are not affected) and is currently being rolled out in phases across the UK.
Universal Credit will mean big changes to the way people apply for and receive their benefits. People can only apply for Universal Credit online and they must have a bank or credit union account to receive payments.
Payments are made monthly instead of fortnightly and claimants will be expected to take full responsibility for their own personal budgets which means paying for things like rent directly to their landlord. Not everyone will move onto Universal Credit right away. To start with, only a small amount of new claimants who meet certain criteria will receive Universal Credit.
The new benefit will replace 6 existing benefits and eventually the Government intend to switch everyone who claims those benefits over to Universal Credit.
Universal Credit will replace:
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
To support those who are currently in receipt of welfare a group of local organisations have launched a campaign to help residents manage the changes.
Although Universal Credit is administered by the DWP, local organisations in Wolverhampton including the City Council, Wolverhampton Homes and Citizens Advice, have worked together to offer a support package to help people prepare for the new benefit.
A new website (please click on the link) - Universal Credit in Wolverhampton has been created which is full of helpful information, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.
The website has details of all the places you can access the internet for free, advice for how to get a bank or credit union account and personal budgeting support if people need help managing their money.
The contact number for the Welfare Hub is: 01902 555670
Universal Credit in Wolverhampton is a partnership between lots of organisations and agencies working together in the city including: City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton Homes, Citizens Advice, Wolverhampton City Credit Union, Transforming Communities Together, Heantun Housing, Job Change, Refugee and Migrant Centre and Bilston Resource Centre.
Please visit the individual organisation records featured on this page for more information about their services and how they can support you.