Single and unemployed will be first to claim Universal Credit

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Single, newly unemployed people living in Milton Keynes will soon be the first to claim Universal Credit.

This is the first step of the gradual roll out of the new benefit Universal Credit that brings a number of separate benefits under one claim.

Over the next few years all working age people on a low income who would have, or are currently claiming one of the following benefits, will instead claim Universal Credit.

•Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

•Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

•Income Support

•Child Tax Credit

•Working Tax Credit

•Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is a new working age benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work. The way Universal Credit is claimed assessed and paid is different.

If you’re already on a benefit you do not need to do anything as you will be told when Universal Credit will affect you by the Government.

Universal Credit will not replace Pension Credit, which will continue to be paid to pension age people.

Universal Credit will be paid in arrears into a bank, building society, Post Office or credit union account as a single monthly household payment, from which recipients will pay all their bills, including their rent.

Claims for Universal Credit will be expected to be completed and managed online.

There are things people, who are currently in receipt of the benefits above, can do now to start to prepare for Universal Credit; these include

- Checking what changes they need to make by using the Department for Work and Pensions’ Personal Planner to get ready for Universal Credit ucpp.dwp.gov.uk/universal-credit-preparation

- Making sure they have an account where Universal Credit can be paid into.

Information about suitable accounts can be found at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

- Working out their monthly budget and plan ahead to ensure rent (or mortgage) and bills are paid promptly. Making money go further with a monthly budget.

- Making sure they have access to the internet. MY MK provides details of public internet access points.

Alternatively if people are receiving certain benefits or are on a low income they may be eligible for our low cost PC rental scheme through Connect MK.

Further details can be found on the council’s website www.milton-keynes.gov.uk.

My MK is on the front page. For information on Universal Credit or Connect MK, simply type the words in the search bar and you will find all the information you need.