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The UK benefits system has changed in various ways under our current government, and this has been taking place to ensure that all people can gain access to financial support as and when they may need to – and that those who need it the most are prioritised. There are a number of different benefits and welfare grants that have changed shape or status over the past few years, and one that has come into play is Universal Credit – which is a financial top-up for UK residents who may either be out of work or whom may be subject to a low income. The Universal Credit contact number is always available for new and current claimants, and can be called on 0843 816 6313.
Universal Credit is a huge support to anyone who is searching for work and who may need that little bit of an extra boost in moving up into higher-paid employment. If you’re already claiming other benefits, you don’t need to contact Universal Credit support for further assistance – however, if you are on low pay or are struggling to get by, it is worthwhile getting in touch with Universal Credit customer services to ensure that you have enough to live on and to fund areas of your life such as housing and food.
Universal Credit is paid once a month into your bank or building society account and will therefore act as a top-up to any wages you may be receiving. There are no upper limits to how many hours you can work per week while receiving the credit, however, it will decrease as your wages get higher. This way, you are encouraged to gradually move away from the benefit by seeking higher-paid work. With job coaches on hand to assist those claiming the benefit, it’s a welfare support that is specifically designed to help people find work in their local area.
The Universal Credit helpline is a great bastion of support for anyone new to the system or for anyone that needs to make changes or concerns known to the team. While the system is run via the Department for Work and Pensions – who handle a wide range of financial and benefits enquiries elsewhere – there are still numbers you can call that will put you in touch with various members of the Universal Credit support team. For your information, we’ve included the most important numbers you’ll need in our handy table below – which will help you get through to a helpful member of the team as soon as possible. This means less time waiting around in queues!
How does Universal Credit work?
Universal Credit is paid monthly to your account by way of a top-up to any existing wages you may already earn. This means that, unlike Job Seekers’ Allowance, this benefit can’t be paid to those eligible whether or not they are in work – however, you must always be actively seeking it. The Universal Credit customer services team work hard to ensure that all callers are given as much information on the benefit processes as possible, however, there is still a wealth of information online via the GOV.UK website – and we have broken things down even further for you on this page.
Universal Credit, as stated, is paid once a month. It can even arrive as part of any existing housing benefit claims you may have, meaning that it can often be used as an add-on to existing welfare payments you may already be receiving. You will, however, be fully informed and kept up to speed with exactly what you are receiving and when.
The amount you may receive will depend entirely on your circumstances and your monthly income. This means that, with both a standard allowance amount and any additional extra grants that you may be entitled to, you can expect to receive a tailored payment based on your specific situation. This is to ensure that all claimants receive personalised and fair financial restitution in cases where they may not be receiving enough money for living expenses.
Single people and couples can both claim for Universal Credit, and the amount you receive will of course depend upon your marital status. If you are single, you could receive up to £317.82 per month if over the age of 25, and up to £251.77 if under 25. If you are in a couple and are both over 25, you could receive a flat rate of £498.89 per month between you, or if at least one of you is below the age threshold, you could receive up to £395.20. Therefore, older claimants are likely to receive more to help support their way into work.
Which extra amounts may I receive?
Universal Credit is paid as a base rate and with additional extras applicable under certain circumstances. A call to the Universal Credit telephone number will put you in touch with a team member who can look at your circumstances in more detail – however, it is also fairly easy to understand what to expect from the benefit from GOV.UK’s online guide.
If you have children, for example, you could receive up to £277.08 for your first child and an additional £231.67 per child thereafter. You may even benefit from help towards certain childcare costs, and could receive further support if your child is severely disabled. If you yourself have a health condition, or if you care for a disabled person, you may even receive an additional boost to your Universal Credit. This system operates on a circumstantial basis to ensure that those in need of the benefit receive fair financial support.
Your housing costs may even be supported – if you need to pay for a mortgage or towards rent, Universal Credit can be topped up even further. More information on these additional costs is available from the Universal Credit phone number on 0345 600 0723.
When will my Universal Credit start to be reduced?
The amount you receive will reduce as you start to earn more. It’s generally dropped at a rate of 65p per £1 earned, though disabled people and those responsible for children can benefit from a cap known as their ‘work allowance’. The monthly work allowance, generally a rate of £192 if you receive housing payments (and £397 if not), is the maximum you can earn per month before your credit will start to drop.
Am I eligible to benefit?
Providing that you are over the age of 18, are single and living in England, Scotland or Wales, are not in full-time training or education, are not over the state pension age and have less than £16,000 in savings, you may be classed as eligible. Couples claiming the credit must reside in certain areas of the UK – and you’ll need to claim jointly when you do. Universal Credit will be affected by your savings – generally, if you have over £6,000 saved, you’ll be judged to be able to fund your general living expenses and may therefore experience a cut in credit.
What if I claim other benefits?
If you receive income-based welfare in the form of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Incapacity Benefit, you will not be able to claim Universal Credit. This is to make sure that the system stays fair to those who are claiming welfare – that no one person is able to receive more than they are entitled to at any one time. The support team will be able to advise you further if in doubt.
How do I start a new claim?
It’s always important to get in touch with the Universal Credit helpline should you wish to start a new benefits claim. The team will be able to start your application for you, however you can also do so online. You’ll need to provide information on your personal circumstances, your living arrangements, your finances and your income. If you’re successful in your application, you will be called to interview. This will take place at your local Job Centre Plus, and you must attend if you wish to receive the benefit.
What is a Claimant Commitment?
This is an agreement made between you and the DWP to ensure that you fulfil a number of criteria yourself on a regular basis. IF you wish to receive Universal Credit, you may be required to make certain changes to your lifestyle or even the way you look for work – your claim and your continued benefit will depend entirely upon whether or not you are able to complete tasks and requirements set by the Commitment – meaning that it is always important to understand exactly what is expected from you.
Other routes to Universal Credit assistanceContact the DWP further through Twitter here for direct support as and when you need it.
You View The Official GOV Site Here.
Department for Work and Pensions