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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is designed to replace 6 existing benefits with a single monthly payment.  

Universal Credit was brought in for some claimants in Colchester in March 2015, and it is being introduced in stages. For more information on how the new benefit is being rolled out locally visit the  Universal Credit in Colchester page.

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Whether you live in a council/housing association property or you rent your home privately, you can find out more by looking at these  frequently asked questions about Universal Credit and rented housing (June 2015)..

If you claim Universal Credit you will not normally be entitled to Housing Benefit. Instead, you will need to make arrangements to pay your rent yourself from your Universal Credit payment.  You can , make payments through your bank. pay by telephone or at the Post Office/Payzone - check our Ways to pay for full details.  The Money Advice Service has put together some information and advice about paying your own rent under Universal Credit..

Before claiming Universal Credit you may need to change how you manage money. You'll also need to make sure you can go online.You can use  this checklist to help you plan the changes you may need to make.

For information about Universal Credit and how to apply you can visit the Gov.uk website or watch this video:

'Universalcreditinfo' is designed to help people check whether they can claim universal credit in their postcode area (and the status of tax credits and other benefit claims), with links to information about how universal credit works and to details of independent local advice organisations across Great Britain.