Universal Credit is coming to Bracknell from May 23. It will affect working age people who make a benefit or tax credit claim from this date.
Universal Credit is a new benefit, which brings together six existing income-related benefits into one new monthly payment to claimants.
Linda Wells, Executive Director (Customer Services) at Bracknell Forest Homes, commented: “The national change of benefits to Universal Credit is going live in the local area and we know the changes will affect many of our customers and members of the public if they make a benefit claim.
“We know from experience in other areas that claimants will face a wait of at least five weeks before receiving their first Universal Credit payment. Payments are made monthly in arrears and all applications will need to be made online. Claimants will need to have a bank, building society or credit union account to receive their Universal Credit payments.
“To raise awareness, we have included lots of information on our website including benefit calculators, short films explaining Universal Credit and how to claim, and we have been contacting customers who may be affected.”
Universal Credit has been rolled out already in other parts of the country. It can be claimed if you are:
- Working age
- On a low income
- Not in full time education or training
- Have less than £16,000 in savings.
Linda Wells added: “We are working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Department for Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus and other local agencies to raise awareness and support our customers through this period of significant change. It is essential that claims for Universal Credit are made very promptly online and that all the required information is provided. If this does not happen, claims will be delayed and applicants may fall into rent arrears or not have money to pay for food and household bills. We want to help people prepare now to avoid problems later."