Universal credit

From october 2013 many existing benefits and allowances were combined into one ‘universal credit’. Universal credit will be paid monthly in arrears directly into your bank account.this may make it more difficult for you as your housing benefit will be included in these payments.ebony housing association is looking at lots of ways to help you budget so your rent payments are safe. Contact your housing officer for more information.

Our universal credit leaflet tells you which current benefits and allowances will be included in universal credit and what you can do to prepare if you think you will be affected.

The department for work and pensions (dwp) expects claims for universal credit to be made online. Ebony housing association will be making it easier for you to apply by installing a computer in our reception area.

More information

For more information on universal credit, contact your housing officer

The benefits cap

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap.

How much you get for certain benefits may go down to make sure the total you get isn’t more than the cap amount.you’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work,and either of the following apply:

You or your partner are eligible for working tax credit. You or your partner get universal credit, and your household income is more than £520 a month after tax and national insurance

The cap applies to the total amount people in your household (you, your partner and any children living with you) get from the following benefits:

bereavement allowance

child benefit

child tax credit

employment and support allowance (unless you get the ‘support’ component)

housing benefit

incapacity benefit

income support

jobseeker’s allowance

maternity allowance

severe disablement allowance

widowed parent’s allowance (or widowed mother’s allowance or widows pension if you started getting it before 9 april 2001)

universal credit (unless you’ve had a work capability assessment and aren’t fit for work). Call the department for work and pensions (dwp) if you need help with the benefit cap.

For universal credit
telephone: 0345 600 0723
textphone: 0345 600 0743
monday to friday, 8am to 6pm

You can also contact dwp through the journal in your universal credit online account.

For any other benefits
telephone: 0345 605 7064
textphone: 0345 608 8551
monday to friday, 8am to 6pm

Bank accounts

Advice on what to do if you haven’t got a bank account.

Why do i need a bank account?

From october 2013 all benefits including housing benefit will be paid directly to you in a bank account. If you don’t have one you will need to open one.

You can withdraw money from your account at cash machines or at the post office. You can also pay bills, like your rent, by direct debit.if you are having difficulty opening a bank or credit union account contact your housing  officer.

Consider a credit union account

Credit unions are like banks but owned by their account holders. They promote savings and offer fair loans and often people with poor credit are able to open a basic account.you can have your wages/benefits paid in and set up direct debits.

More information

For more information contact your housing officer or see ‘basic bank accounts’ on the  money advice service website.