Yes. If you are living in temporary or supported accommodation you will still need to claim housing benefit to help you pay your rent. But you must also claim universal credit for your day-to-day living costs.
If you need to report a change in your circumstances go to the Frequently Asked Questions on Ashfield District Council’s website for more information- Report a change of circumstances
Step 1. Create an online account. You will need an email address. During this process you provide your personal details and evidence of your identity.
Step 2. Make an application for universal credit.
Once you have submitted your application you have to manage your claim yourself using a “journal”. This is an electronic method for you to exchange information with the DWP assessor and your work coach.
If you have a partner you will each be responsible for completing your own application. If you are the one who completes the application first, you will need to indicate you have a partner and ask for a “partner code”. When your partner later completes their UC application, they must put in this code to link the two applications together into a joint claim.
Once the accounts are linked you will be able to see some of each other’s information and “to do” list. Some things you can complete for each other, but other things you will need to do yourself.
Watch a video about universal credit and how to claim here:
1. You provide proof of your ID and other documents.
2. You see a work coach who will talk to you about your circumstances. You will have to sign a claimant commitment. This is a bit like a contract: it lists things that you agree to do to try to get into work. For example: write a CV or go on training courses.
Your claim will not be paid until you sign the claimant commitment.
If you think you will not be able to find work due to your disabilities, illness or mental health problems, you must tell the work coach at this first appointment. This is to make sure your claimant commitment contains only things that it will be reasonable for you to do.
If you don’t do this you may fail to meet the conditions you have agreed to in the claimant commitment. You could have your benefits stopped – “sanctioned” – later on.
If you do not attend the appointment your claim will not be paid.
If you have a partner both you and your partner will have to attend your own appointment and agree to your own personal claimant commitment.
If you need help with your claim for Universal Credit then you can contact Citizens Advice “Help to Claim” Service National Helpline - 0800 144 8 444 - Advisers are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim/
You can also get help online to help you to develop your computer skills. Some websites can offer help with free courses on using a computer, browsing the web, sending an email and finding work online. You can also view guidance on how to make a claim for Universal Credit online.
You can get help from a website called www.learnmyway.com. You can also go to this website by clicking on this link: Learn My Way
Yes, but don’t delay as your payments will usually only start from the date the application is made.
If you cannot complete the online universal credit application form yourself, and are unable to find support to help, you can visit one the Jobcentre Plus offices in Kirkby in Ashfield where you will be offered support to make your claim. You can also contact Citizens Advice for help with your Universal Credit claim.
If you are housebound, you can phone the UC helpline to make an application over the telephone or arrange a home visit: 0800 328 5644 – open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, (closed on bank and public holidays).
You will receive your first universal credit payment about five weeks after you apply, as long as you have attended your appointment, signed your claimant commitment(s) and provided all the documents and evidence that have been requested.
You need to think about how you will manage without payments during this assessment period.
If you think you will have difficulties because you have no savings, discuss this with your work coach at your first appointment. They will explain the options and where to get help to budget during this waiting time.
Yes, you can ask for an advance payment of your UC if you are in financial hardship: for example, if you can’t afford to pay your rent or buy food.
This is a loan which you will have to pay back from your future universal credit payments or by other means if you no longer get universal credit: for example, from your wages or other benefit you may be getting.
You may be able to get up to 100% of your estimated universal credit payment. The amount will include your estimated housing element if you submit your rent details when you apply for the advance.
To repay the advance, the DWP makes deductions from your monthly universal credit payment. The first deduction is made on the day you get your first payment and you will have up to 12 months to pay back the full advance.
You can ask for your repayments to be delayed for up to three months if you can’t afford them. This is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.
Yes, you can only receive your universal credit payment directly in to your bank. Many banks offer basic bank accounts and it is easy to open one. If you need help phone Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444.
Firstly check that the UC housing element has been calculated on your correct level of rent – and what period it covers.
If there is still a shortfall it could be because the accommodation is too large for you, or the maximum allowable will not pay your full rent, or you have grown up children living with you and the DWP has made a deduction because your children should be contributing to your household.
If you do have a shortfall between the rent you pay and the housing allowance paid through universal credit, you may be able to get some additional help from Ashfield District Council by applying for a discretionary housing payment (DHP). These payments can be awarded for short periods while you find solutions to manage the shortfall.