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Get ready for Universal Credit


Medway residents will soon see a change in the way they receive their benefits and tax credits. The Department for Work and Pensions will be rolling out Universal Credit to more Medway residents from 30, May, 2018.


Ahead of the launch, any single applicants who now apply for housing benefit before 30, May, 2018 will need to make their claim directly to Medway Council. To claim housing benefit, complete the online form.


If you don't need benefit support now but you think your circumstances will change after 30th May, then you will need to register for Universal Credit.

- Find out if you're eligible for Universal Credit - https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility


When Universal Credit is rolled out, eligible residents will receive a single payment each month instead of receiving their benefits or tax credits as separate payments.

Universal Credit replaces the following working-age benefits:

• Housing Benefit

• Income Support

• Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)

• Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based)

• Working Tax Credit

• Child Tax Credit


If you currently receive any of these benefits, you will be transferred as part of a managed process by 2022. You may be transferred sooner if there is a change to one of your benefits or if you need to make a new claim. You'll receive a letter if you are affected by the change to Universal Credit.

It will take a number of years to transfer every resident who currently receives benefits or tax credits onto the Universal Credit scheme. In the meantime we encourage residents who receive benefits to report any changes in their circumstances.




Later this year we will be holding weekly drop-in surgeries and roadshows at key sites across Medway for residents to find out about Universal Credit. Further details will be posted on our website and Medway Council tenants can phone 0800 4088080 for free advice from our dedicated welfare reform team. You can also contact Citizens Advice for support on benefits.


Do you get help paying your rent?

If your rent is currently paid directly to your landlord, in the future it will be paid directly to you. This is known as Housing Costs and you will be responsible for paying your rent to your landlord.


Do you get help with your council tax?

Claims for Council Tax Reduction will remain with Medway Council. If you claim Universal Credit with the

Department for Work and Pensions and you already receive Council Tax Reduction you do not need to

reapply. If you are a new claimant for Council Tax Reduction, you will need to apply through the council.


How is it paid?

The single monthly payment will be paid into your bank, building society or Credit Union account.

If you live with your partner and you both claim Universal Credit you’ll receive a single payment that covers you both.

This means you'll need to manage your bills and costs for the whole month. For help with setting a budget and managing your money, see the Money Advice Service guide.


Being online

You make your claim and check your payments and updates online.

Don't worry if you don't have access to a computer or the internet at home or if you're unsure how to use them as Medway Library services offers free computer access and training.


Prepare for the change

To help you prepare for the change the Money Advice Service has put together useful information including advice on choosing a bank account and help with budgeting.

If you are a leaseholder or council tenant in Medway and need any advice around Universal Credit, you can speak to your assigned housing officer.


Five steps to prepare you

To prepare for Universal Credit, make sure you follow these five steps:

Universal Credit