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What is universal credit?

Universal credit is a new single, monthly payment, introduced by government, which is replacing a number of existing benefits and tax credits, including housing benefit.

Universal credit will replace:

  • Income-based job seekers allowance
  • Income-based employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credit and working tax credit
  • Housing benefit

To find out more, watch this short film about universal credit.

If you're of working age and your circumstances change, you will need to claim universal credit online. It can then take 6-8 weeks to receive your first payment so don't delay!


 Drop-in services

If you need advice on universal credit, come along to one of our drop-in services:

Warminster Central car park, every Wednesday, from 09.30am-4pm (drop-in flyer available here)

Bradford-on-Avon - The Hub@BA15, every Thursday, from 10am-12pm (drop-in flyer available here)

You can also drop-in any time and ask to speak to an account manager at our main office.


Universal credit Q&A

Q: How is universal credit different to the current benefits system?

A: Universal credit brings together multiple benefits into one payment, which will be paid directly to you, every month, into your bank or building society or post office account. This means that you will need to now pay your rent directly to us. The easiest way to pay your rent is by direct debit. Find out how to set up a direct debit here.

The government have also produced this online tool to help you see how universal credit is different to other benefits and how you can best prepare.


Q: I live with a partner, how will universal credit affect us?

A: If you live with a partner you'll now get a single payment for both of you so you might want to consider opening a joint account to help you manage your money.

If you have a joint tenancy, but only one of you now resides at the property, this could affect your universal credit application. Please contact your account manager to discuss this further on 01225 715 715.


Q: When will universal credit start?

A: Universal credit is already in operation in Wiltshire and Somerset. We are seeing an increase in the number of Selwood Housing customers who are moving across to universal credit.


Q: Who will universal credit affect?

A: Universal credit will affect those of working age, who are on a low income. If you're looking for work, or not able to work universal credit will apply.


Q: When will my benefits change?

A: You'll move to universal credit when there is a change in your circumstances that affects your existing benefit claim, such as a change to your employment status or an addition to your family.


Q: How do I apply for universal credit?

A: If you have a change in circumstances you may need to claim for universal credit. You will need to make your application online. If you don't have a computer you can make your claim at the local library or pop into our office in Trowbridge to use our computer in reception.


Further resources and support

For more information about universal credit visit

If you have any concerns about managing your money and the impact of universal credit please call our team at 01225 715 715 and ask to speak to an account manager. 

this page was last updated: 20/09/2017 13:36:00


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