Universal Credit

Posted 08/07/2019

Up until recently, an individual could receive various credits from the government for financial aid. These were: child tax credits, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, income support, working tax credit and employment and support allowance.

These were common for those living in the UK who were low on income or out of work so that their costs of living could be partially covered, and it was usually paid weekly or monthly. For those who are currently receiving one of the 6 original credits they will continue to receive this, but they cannot claim universal credits at the same time.The system takes taxable income into account when calculating the allowance of an individual for each month. There are 3 calculators on HMRC’s website for calculating an estimate of entitlement; the questions involved involve your working situation and income, your living arrangements and children, and disability or illnesses that need to be known. The calculation will give you a reference code which you can use when applying or retrieving the estimate and applying to HMRC.

An individual must make a Universal Credits account with HMRC in order to make a claim. The claim must be made within the next 28 days of the account’s creation. Once the application has been approved the individual will be told how to arrange an interview with Jobcentre Plus within 10 working days for the application to be formally submitted. Depending on the situation, the person interviewing the individual will be a life coach and they will set goals with such as to write a CV or apply for so many jobs in a week which would need to be met for the universal credits to continue. Once the application is successfully submitted, the universal credits account can be used to see statements and to-do lists, view when next payments will be or apply for an advance on the first payment or report any changes to a situation.

If an individual was receiving housing benefit before moving on to universal credits, in some cases the money will no longer be paid directly to the landlord. England and Wales residents will have the rent included in their monthly payments and are responsible for paying the rent to the landlord, in Ireland the payments will automatically go to the landlord and in Scotland the person can choose where the money goes first.So far this article has focused on an individual claiming the universal credit. If a couple live together and claim the credit the payments will be made as one payment for the household to either a joint bank account or a single bank account. In any event where one or both partners were claiming tax credits the universal credits will overwrite any tax credits when the couple’s application is made, and tax credits will cease. There is no way for tax credits to continue, even if both partners were receiving tax credits the government would need to be updated and informed that the two are living together and what their household income would be, and this would overall affect their monthly allowance.

Tags: universal credits, tax credits, personal


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