Universal Credit is the biggest welfare change introduced by the government for 60 years. It will support you if you’re on a low income or out of work and includes a monthly payment to help with living costs. It aims to simplify the benefits system by replacing:
- Child tax credit
- Housing benefit
- Income support
- Jobseeker’s allowance
- Employment and support allowance
- Working tax credit
You will be asked to apply for Universal Credit if you're a new claimant or if you're already claiming benefits and have a change in your circumstances.
Do you need help making a claim?
The Department for Work and Pensions can also offer support. You can contact them on 0800 328 5644.
As Universal Credit is an online digital system, you will need to ensure you can access the internet. If you don’t have access to the internet, there’s a number of locations across the county, where you can use free public computers and Wi-Fi.
Public computers and Wi-Fi
Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre
Hereford City Life, Country Living
Hereford Leisure Centre
Hereford Leisure Pool
Leominster Leisure Centre
If you’re not very confident using the internet, Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire offer free computer and digital courses across Herefordshire. To find out more, visit the Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire website.
If you can get online, the Learn My Way website offers free online courses for beginners, learning games and advice on using computers, which can help develop your digital skills.
Herefordshire Council’s BetterOff service will show you the benefits you’re entitled to and help you apply for them online. The service also provides information on how to find and apply for jobs and offers support for more complex benefits issues or appeals. You can contact the service on 01432 383444 or via www.herefordshire.betteroff.org.uk.
StepChange is a national charity, which has been providing free debt advice for over 25 years. You can call their helpline on 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 8am - 4pm). Please note you’ll need to complete their budget form before calling and calls last for approximately 40 minutes.
If you’re finding it difficult to pay your bills or manage your money, especially in light of the introduction of Universal Credit, please don’t struggle alone, as there’s plenty of advice and support available. To find out more, visit our money, debt and budgeting page.
Depending upon your current situation and circumstances, you could receive help with paying your council tax from Herefordshire Council. Visit the council’s council tax discounts and exemptions page for further details.
Herefordshire Council also offer support to local eligible residents in an emergency, including providing food / vouchers and quality, second-hand goods. To find out more, visit the council’s emergency welfare support page.
To find out more about the new benefit system, take a look at the Universal Credit website or to make a claim, visit the Government’s website.
If you need help with your Universal Credit account, you can contact the Department for Work and Pensions:
Online: Sign in to your Universal Credit account
Call: 0800 328 9344 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)
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