Universal Credit was introuduced into Moray in November 2015. Universal Credit is a new benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work, and helps ensure that you are better off in work than on benefits.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Currently, it is available to single people without children who live in Moray. Couples and families will be introduced at a later date. This means that only certain groups of single people can apply for Universal Credit at this stage.
In order to claim you must:
- be single
- be a GB national and normally resident in GB
- be aged between 18 years old and 60 years and 6 months
- have a bank or building society account or Post Office Card Account
- not be homeless or in supported accommodation
- not own their own home (including part ownership)
- not have more than £6,000 in Savings and Capital
- not be pregnant;
- not have given birth within the last 15 weeks
- not have responsibility for children (including adopting or fostering a child) or provide care for any other person
- not be required by the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission to pay child maintenance
- not have a “fit note” from your GP (unless Work Capability Assessment has found you fit for work)
- not be in a period of self-certification awaiting a “fit note” from your GP
- not be making the claim through a Personal Acting Body or a Corporate Acting Body
- not be a Company Director or in a limited liability
Only new claims for Universal Credit are being accepted just now so, for example, if you have just become unemployed you can claim. If you are already receiving Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support and your circumstances have not changed, you do not need to apply for Universal Credit.
How to claim
The Department for Work and Pensions preferred method of claiming is online at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit. Claimants unable to go online will be able to make a claim by telephone or in a Jobcentre. Call the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 (textphone 0345 600 0743) available Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm.
Where to get help in Moray
You can get help with Universal Credit from your local Jobcentre in Elgin, Buckie and Forres.
Elgin Jobcentre Plus: 21 Trinity Rd, Elgin, IV30 1RJ
Forres Jobcentre Plus: Tytler Street, Forres, IV36 1EL
Buckie Jobcentre Plus: Shanks Lane, Buckie, AB56 1AF
For all Moray Jobcentres telephone: 0345 604 3719 or text phone: 0345 608 8551. You can use the 0845 code to call these 0345 numbers. Check with your phone company which code is cheaper for you or go to the GOV.UK call charges webpage for advice.
You can also get help with getting online and completing your Universal Credit form at your local council office or local library. We can also provide support with helping you manage your money and debt advice.
The Welfare MAP points you to help and information with changes to the welfare benefits system, including how to claim, budgeting, housing, getting online and how to find a job
Paying your rent
If you stay in rented accommodation your rental costs will now be taken into account within your claim for Universal Credit and any Housing Benefit you may have received will end, as you cannot receive both benefits.
If you receive Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Reduction you must notify the Revenues Service so that your Housing Benefit can be cancelled. Your Council Tax Reduction will not automatically end but will be reassessed taking into account your new income.
Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account. If you are used to your landlord receiving Housing Benefit directly, please speak to them or your Housing Officer about making arrangements for you to pay your rent.
If you are a council tenant please contact the Housing & Property Service.