Universal credit refers to a new type of benefit that the UK government introduced to help people who are on low income or simply out of work thus unable to make a living. It is for UK nationals who are of a working age. The credit is available for the nationals of Wales, Scotland and England but yet to become law in Northern Ireland.
The Department for Work and Pensions administers the benefit. The government introduced this credit to replace other benefits that include Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support as well as Employment and Support Allowance or ESA. It simplifies work for people who had to apply for these benefits separately.
Universal Credit Services
The benefit is not available in all parts of the United Kingdom. Successful applicants receive the benefit as a single monthly payment that the government sends directly into their bank accounts. The applicant must indicate the bank of his choice where he expects the government to send the payments. Applicants must indicate if the benefit is to help them pay rent.
Two applicants who live together as partners are entitled to a single or joint monthly payment as long as they are both eligible. Applicants have to be ready to wait a few weeks for the approval and disbursement into their bank accounts to take place. The government does not pay new claims within the first seven days, except where the applicant is vulnerable or terminally ill.
Contacting Universal Credit Customer Service
The credit is available in specific jobcenters. It is not available everywhere in the United Kingdom. For this reason, call 0345 600 0723, which is the official Universal Credit helpline for more information regarding where to apply for the benefit. The hearing and speech impaired applicants should use the appropriate textphone code number – 0345 600 0743.
Universal Credit Contact Tips
Welsh speaking applicants can address their questions regarding this credit to 0800 012 1888. The beauty of calling this number is that you do not have to pay any fee since it is toll free. When calling the 0345 numbers, be ready to pay up to 12p per minute from a landline or between 3p and 45p from a mobile phone in the United Kingdom.
The government has introduced a digital service for residents of Southwark, Croydon and Sutton to use in applying for the credit. The digital service is for residents of these areas whose postcodes begin with the following prefixes: SM5 1, SM5 2, SM5 3, SM5 9, SM6 0, SM6 6, SM6 7, SM6 8, SM6 9, CR0 2, CR0 4 and SE1 5.