Universal Credit

Universal Credit was introduced from 25 January 2016. New claims for Universal Credit will not be made in the district from 31 December 2017. From 30 May 2018 new claims will be accepted for most new applicants in the district

What is Universal Credit?

From 30 May 2018 new claims for Universal Credit will be accepted for most new applicants in the Folkestone JobCentre area.

Universal Credit will replace six existing benefits and merge them into one monthly payment that will made to the claimant. The six benefits that are being replaced are:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefits

For residents already receiving the existing benefits, there will be a phased move to Universal Credit, and everyone will be notified in advance that this is going to happen.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

Most claims for Universal Credit are made online on the GOV.UK website.

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Further advice on Universal Credit and a calculator can be found on the Money Advice website

Housing Benefit when Universal Credit is introduced

If you claim Universal Credit and need help with rental costs this will be included in the payment that you receive and replace Housing Benefit. Universal Credit will contain similar allowances towards rent as part of the Housing Element of the Universal Payment which is normally paid directly to the claimant. 

This means that if you live in the Folkestone and Hythe District area you will not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit unless you:

  • have reached state pension age
  • have more than two children, unless you have received Universal Credit within the last six months
  • are in exempt accommodation (you will need to claim Universal Credit for living costs but you may also get some help from Folkestone & Hythe District Council with your rent).
  • are in temporary accommodation placed by the Council (you will need to claim Universal Credit for living costs but you may also get some help from Folkestone & Hythe District Council with your rent).

Help with mortgages

Universal Credit contains a payment to help with mortgage interest, but this is only available for Universal Credit claimants who are not in paid employment.

How will Universal Credit be paid?

Payments will normally be made once a month in arrears to replicate a working wage.

Claimants must set up a bank account to receive their Universal Credit payments.

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

Working while you claim Universal Credit

There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you receive Universal Credit. Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more and you won't lose all your benefits at once if you're on a low income.

How does this affect people of pension age?

You won't be able to claim Universal Credit if both you and your partner are over Pension Credit age. You will need to claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit instead.

How does this affect Council Tax Reduction? 

Universal Credit will not replace Council Tax Reduction. If you haven't applied for help with your Council Tax you can do this. 

Apply for Council Tax Reduction

Assisted Digital Support 

Universal Credit claims must be made online. If you don't have access to the internet or need help with making a claim for Universal Credit, please contact us on 01303 853555 to ask for help.

If you are able to make the claim online, then please do so as delays in applying may affect your entitlement.