Universal Credit was introduced by the government in 2013 as part of the Welfare Reform Act. It is for people in or out of work and replaces the following six benefits with one simple monthly payment:
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
Scarborough and Whitby Jobcentres started to deliver Universal Credit from the 9 November 2015 to single customers without children making a new claim for benefit who would otherwise have claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance.
If your postcode starts with TS13 5, Loftus Jobcentre Plus started to deliver Universal Credit from the 14 March 2016.
Universal Credit is not paid by Scarborough Borough Council but our Benefits team will be able to advise you whether or not you can claim Universal Credit and even assist you in applying for Universal Credit online.
Are you eligible to claim Universal Credit?
To claim Universal Credit you must satisfy a number of key criteria. You can check if you're eligible to claim Universal Credit here.
- Be single
- Be a GB national and normally resident in GB
- Have a valid National Insurance number
- Be aged between 18 years and 60 years and 6 months
- Have a bank or building society account or Post Office Card account
- Not be homeless or in support accommodation
- Not own your own home (including part ownership)
- Not have more than £6000 in savings and capital
- Not be pregnant
- Not have given birth within the last 15 weeks
- Not have responsibility for children (including adopting or fostering a child) or provide care for any other person
- Not be required by the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CMEC) to pay child maintenance
- Not have a fit note (unless Work Capability Assessment confirmed found fit for work)
- Not be in a period of self-certification awaiting a fit note
- Not be making the claim through a Personal Acting Body / Corporate Acting Body
- Not be a Company Director or in a limited liability partnership
If you meet the criteria then you should claim Universal Credit online. The single monthly payment of Universal Credit will include any housing costs that would previously have been paid by Housing Benefit. This means that you must make your own arrangements to pay your rent with your landlord.
Making a claim for Universal Credit
Before you make your claim online make sure you have the following details at hand:
- Your National Insurance number
- Details of the account you want Universal Credit paid into
- Details of all capital and savings that you have
- Details of any income you receive not from employment
- Details of any benefits you receive
- Your rent agreement
When you start to make your claim you cannot save your application and return to it later so make sure all the information you need is available first.
Access to a computer
If you don't have a way to get online, you can access a computer at (click to view):
Discretionary Housing Payments and Universal Credit
If you receive the housing element of Universal Credit but still need help with the shortfall in your rent then you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
Other support with Universal Credit
The Money Advice Service can give you advice on opening a basic bank account and with budgeting.
The Benefits team at your local council can also help with budgeting advice, call in to see them at the Customer First Centre at the Town Hall in Scarborough or the Jobcentre Plus office in Whitby.
Information for landlords
Universal Credit will include a housing cost element which will be paid direct to your tenant. This means your tenant will need to effectively manage their money and budget accordingly.
The Money Advice Service provides information and advice for landlords whose tenants receive Universal Credit.
Any concerns regarding your tenant not being able to pay their rent will need to be directed to the Department for Work and Pensions.