Take a look at the questions we’ve been asked about benefits during the pandemic. Click the question to read Anna’s response.
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Start by checking to see if you are eligible here: gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility
If so, complete the online application here: gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.
The system is currently dealing with a heavy backlog, so get the claim in as soon as possible. One tip: The DWP have said the UC application website is least busy after 9pm (with the absolute quietest time at 4am). If possible, complete your claim after 9pm for the smoothest process.
The digital skills people at LearnMyWay have lots of information about UC and how to manage a claim in the form of a short course here learnmyway.com/courses/universal-credit-a-how-to-guide/.
And, of course, Quids in! has a guide to the whole system available here
You will need to inform housing that he has come to live with you, that may either be housing benefit if you receive that, or Universal Credit where you can report a change on your journal. Both agencies will recalculate your entitlement.
There may a be a reduction in benefits if they expect him to make a claim and contribute to the household.
If you are struggling to cover the cost of essentials because of issues with your housing benefit/element, contact your local council to see if you are eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
Assets are not taken into account when claiming Universal Credit, but savings of £6,000 and over are. Owning your own home and car will not stop you claiming UC.
Infact there may be some extra benefits you can apply for as a part of the Universal Credit Claim.
This info is from the government in relation to UC:
“Owner-occupiers who are leaseholders can get help with service charges paid as a housing element within Universal Credit. Although you normally have to serve a waiting period of approximately nine months from the date of your Universal Credit claim before you can receive this help”.
“Help with mortgage interest payments is available in the form of a loan on which you will be charged interest. This is separate from your claim for Universal Credit. Please read our Support for Mortgage Interest Loan guide for more detailed information about this loan”. See the Turn2Us website for more info.
The DWP have suggested any savings put aside to pay tax will not be counted as ‘capital’ and so won’t impact the amount we are eligible for when claiming UC. Ideally, the money should be in a business account, but even if it’s in our personal account, if we can prove it’s for tax purposes, we should be able to have it discounted.
Martin Lewis has said: ‘If you’ve got savings to pay tax, put a note of this in your online UC journal, and tell them when they call, and it should be discounted from the calculations.’