UC Stories

Mel

Mel has been going to her local Jobcentre in Porth for the last couple of months. She’s been claiming Job Seekers Allowance as she is seeking employment. However, she recently discovered that she’s three months pregnant with her first child.

With this change in her circumstances, Mel will need to make a new claim and will be moved onto Universal Credit because it has replaced Child Tax Credit.

Following the minimum five week waiting period, Mel will receive monthly payments which go directly into her own bank account to help cover her housing and living costs.

Paul

Paul is 22 and lives alone in Cardiff. As Paul is currently out of work, he receives full housing benefit which helps to pay the rent to his landlord every month.

Most of Paul’s family live further up the Valleys in Maerdy, and without a car and local train station he struggles to see them. He’s recently split up from his partner and has decided to move back to Maerdy to be closer to his family and friends.

Moving from Cardiff to Rhondda Cynon Taff is classed as a change of circumstance for Paul and as a result, once he’s relocated to Maerdy, he’ll be moved onto Universal Credit. It’s really important Paul tells his local Jobcentre about the move so that they can make sure he’s given the right amount each month for his housing and living costs.

Max

Max is 44 and has been claiming Employment and Support Allowance as he had been ill. Max’s health had improved over the last few months and following a recent work capability assessment he was now deemed fit for work.

With this change in his circumstances, Max now has to apply for a different out of work benefit as he is no longer entitled to Employment and Support Allowance and will also need to start seeking employment.

He’s been moved onto Universal Credit because he was making a new claim but could no longer apply for Job Seekers Allowance. His Housing Benefit claim will also stop and the money that used to be paid to his landlord to cover his rent will now be included in the single monthly Universal Credit payment that Max receives.

Sarah

Sarah is a single mother who receives Income Support as she has two young children Amy, aged 7 and Zac, aged 4. Sarah gets her rent paid through Housing Benefit and also receives Child Tax Credit.

In the next couple of months Zac will be turning five. As he is Sarah’s youngest child, and his fifth birthday is around the corner, Sarah will no longer be eligible for Income Support and will need to make a claim to a different out of work benefit.

When Sarah arrives at the Jobcentre she finds that she isn’t able to claim Jobseekers Allowance but instead is moved onto Universal Credit. This is because Universal Credit has working age benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance. Sarah’s Universal Credit will also replace the Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit that she was receiving.

Sarah will now get a single monthly payment which will include the money for her rent, her own personal living costs and the Child Tax Credits she used to receive for her two children.

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Here to help…

If you are a social housing tenant and are looking for some help you can find a list of contact information for a number of Housing Associations on our helpline and support page. It’s great if you have any questions about how Universal Credit will affect you and want to know more about the changes it brings.

You can also call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 9344. They’re open Monday to Friday from 8.00am until 6.00pm. Use this number to report any changes to your circumstances that you think might affect your claim.