Universal Credit Full Service Roll Out

The roll out of Universal Credit will be introduced on 6 December 2017 at Weymouth and Bridport Job Centres. From this point onwards, most working age customers making a new claim for benefits will be required to claim Universal Credit instead.

Some Residents, such as those who are single people seeking work, have been able to claim Universal Credit since 2015. However, Universal Credit is now being rolled out to include most working age customers.

Customers of pension age will not be affected by these changes and will continue to claim the existing benefits. Support will be on hand for those that need help processing and managing their online claim.

Universal Credit claims are processed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). However, both Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council will be providing ongoing support to help Universal Credit claimants through the initial claim process.

Specially trained Digital Champions will also be available to lend support and digital devices are available for use at designated housing points, public libraries and at the Weymouth and Bridport Job Centres.

Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Briefholder for Housing, said:

“We are working closely with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and local Job Centre to ensure that those who require help to make or manage their claim online will be provided with the necessary support. Both over the phone guidance and face to face technical support is readily available for those who need help making this transition.”

“My plea for our residents affected by this who have issues or concerns, or simply queries that they are not sure about is to get in touch with us.”

Cllr Peter Barrowcliff, West Dorset District CouncilPortfolio Holder for Corporate,said:

“We aim to help make the full service roll out to Universal Credit as seamless as possible with support on hand for those who may need help managing their online claim. Helpful budgeting advice is also available as well as technical guidance.”

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit system that will replace the following:

·        Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

·        Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

·        Income Support

·        Working Tax Credit

·        Child Tax Credit

·        Housing Benefit

Those already claiming one or more of the benefits being phased out, should carry on claiming as normal. If at any time their circumstances change they may then be required to claim Universal Credit instead but should seek advice at that time.

Applications for Universal Credit will be made and managed online through an account andwill be paid differently to current benefits. Residents will get a single payment for their household and it will be paid once a month into their bank, building society or credit union account.

For more information about Universal Credit and how this may affect you please visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit