Our One Money team offer lots of our tenants advice on the benefits system and they know which topics come up most often.
If you’ve been transferred over to Universal Credit, you might have some questions about the difference it will make to you, so we’ve shared the most common questions for you here.
When will I need to claim Universal Credit?
If you are currently living in Manchester and have had one of the following changes that affect your income, you might need to claim UC.
- You become unemployed
- You become unfit for work
- You are separating from a partner
How do I make a claim?
- You need to make a claim online.
Citizens Advice offers a ‘help to claim’ service. You can call them on 0800 144 8444 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday.
They can talk you through the application or offer you an appointment to see them face-to-face if you prefer.
- Once you have made your claim online, an appointment will be booked for you to go into your local Jobcentre where you will sign your claimant commitment (what you have agreed to do to look for work).
I have been told I need to wait five weeks for my first payment, is this true?
Yes it is, but you can ask for an ‘Advance Payment’. You can do this on your journal or by calling the UC helpline 0800 328 5644. You will need to pay this back so you might want to think of it as an interest free loan which will be taken out of your UC payments over 6 or 12 months.
Will Housing Benefit still pay my rent?
No, under UC the housing element which is to cover your rent will be paid directly to you. You will then need to arrange to pay your rent to us online or by telephone, payment card or by Direct Debit.
Check out our website for more details.
Does UC include my Council Tax benefit?
No, Council Tax support as it is now called is not included in your UC payments and needs to be claimed separately.
There is a box you can tick on the online claim which will notify Council Tax of your claim, but it is worth checking that this has been done, otherwise there will be a gap in your payments.
I struggle using computers, how will I manage?
This is a common problem when people have not used online services before. However, Citizens Advice has Support Hubs across Manchester that can provide the help you need.
- Town Hall Customer Service Centre,
Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 2pm
- Gorton Library, Garratt Way,
Tuesday, 10am - 1pm
- Longsight Library, 519 Stockport Road,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10am - 1pm
- Withington Library, 10 Wilmslow Road,
Tuesday, 1.30 - 4.30pm
- Hulme High Street Library,
Wednesday, 10am - 1pm
- Burnage Library, Burnage Lane,
Thursday, 10am - 12.45pm
- The Place at Platt Lane, Fallowfield,
Thursday, 10am - 1pm
We have lots of information about Universal Credit on our website.