Universal Credit is a new benefit gradually being introduced nationally. It will eventually replace the existing benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing benefit
At present in Oxford Universal Credit only applies to some single unemployed people. However from October 2017 all new claims for any of the benefits listed above will be claims for Universal Credit.

If you are in receipt of any of these benefits currently, you do not have to do anything now as you will be migrated to Universal Credit sometime in the future.

When you make a claim for Universal Credit you will have to agree to certain conditions in return for your benefit.
This is called a Claimant Commitment and will depend on your health, your responsibilities, and your circumstances. If you don’t meet the conditions, your benefit may be reduced.

You will need to complete an online claim form. If you need help filling out the form, call the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 (or textphone 0345 600 0743). If you do not have access to a computer at home you can try accessing one at:
  • Your local Jobcentre      
  • Your local Library
  • Your local Council
In exceptional circumstances claims may be made by telephone or in person. The application can take up to 40
minutes on the phone.

Your online claim will be followed by a face-to-face interview at your local Jobcentre. If you are suffering from a disability or other circumstance that will make it difficult to attend this interview you can ask for ‘reasonable adjustments’. For example,
you can ask for your interview to be at a place where you can travel to easily.

Making your application

You will need to gather the following information before you make your application. Not having this information may lead to a delay in payment.

  • Your postcode
  • Your national insurance number 
  • Details of your bank, building society, credit union or Post Office card account 
  • Details of property you live in
  • Your landlord’s address 
  • Your landlord's phone number
  • Details of any savings you have and any other ‘capital’ investments such as shares or property that you don’t live in
  • Details of earned income
  • Details of any other income 
  • How much you pay for childcare if relevant
  • Details of any other benefits you are currently in receiving
  • Child benefit reference numbers for any children you have a claim for. 
You will need to take this evidence when you go to your interview.

It will take at least 6 weeks before you get your first payment, but you can ask for an advance payment if you don't
have enough money to last that long. An advance payment will be deducted by instalments from your Universal Credit payments, usually over a six month period.

If your application is unsuccessful you can challenge the decision if you think it is wrong. You will have one month to challenge the decision. You can obtain help with this from your local advice centre.



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