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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is now being rolled out across the UK.

What is Universal Credit?

The UK government is introducing Universal Credit for people who are out of work or on a low income. It will eventually replace many of the benefits and tax credits you may be getting at the moment, including; Income-based, JSA, Income-related ESA, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

When does it start?

Universal Credit was introduced in West Lothian on 16th November 2015.

Who is affected?

The first group to be affected are single people who are unemployed and seeking work.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is claimed online. Your Jobcentre and local library can help you access the internet to make your claim.

What information do I need to prepare for my Universal Credit claim?

When you claim UC online, you need to contact your landlord.

You will also need to provide details of income and savings, National Insurance Number, bank details and contact details. You will also need to verify your rent costs.

For help with this please:

How will I receive Universal Credit?

Universal Credit will be paid monthly into your bank account. This means you'll have to start managing your money across the whole month.

Do I have the right bank account?

Your bank, building society, or credit union account must be able to receive automated payments. You will find it useful to set up Direct Debits and standing orders for bills like your rent and utilities.

What if I pay rent?

If you pay rent - this will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. It will be your responsibility to pay the full amount to your landlord directly.

What else can I do to prepare for Universal Credit? 

Draw up a budget to help plan your finances and a list of all your income and outgoings. Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears so you need to plan for this. We recommend setting up Direct Debits for regular bills, like your rent.

Where can I get more support and advice?

Your local Jobcentre and The Advice Shop in Bathgate can provide more support and advice.

For more information visit the DWP website.