Our friendly neighbours will help to answer some of the questions that you may have about Universal Credit.
Meet Jean, Rachel, Kyle, Paul, Tom and Aneta who are all affected by Universal Credit in different ways.
Jean and her husband Jack are on Employment and Support Allowance – Jack is coming up to retirement age and has been told to claim state pension.
He's saw the article in the SLH Bulletin about this and knows it’s best to get help to figure out how to maximise their income. He is contacting the benefits team today so they can help them as he knows SLH helped their friends John and Shelagh.
Rachel is currently on the live service of Universal Credit and works part-time. She is planning to get married to Kyle.
Her partner Kyle has moved in with her and she needs to let the DWP know. Rachel found this easy to do by going onto her online journal and logging into her claim, navigating to the change of circumstances tab and letting the DWP know. Due to level of Kyle's income both should still qualify for Universal Credit but should the claims cease, then Rachel knows she can contact our Benefits Advice team for help.
Kyle is due to get married to Rachel. Kyle is on a zero-hours contract and is currently claiming Working Tax Credit. He struggles to manage his money.
"Managing my money is not my thing but moving onto Universal Credit meant I had to try. My work coach referred me to a course on personal budgeting and I have worked out how to manage my money monthly. I'd recommend this to anyone who needs a bit of a helping hand with budgeting. "
Paul and Kate live alone in a two-bedroom house. As a result are affected by the bedroom tax, which means his rent is not fully covered.
However Paul found out that he could claim for a discretionary housing payment with Liverpool City Council to cover the 14% shortfall. Paul knows if he is struggling to complete his application he can contact our Benefits Advice team for assistance.
Tom is about to move into his new one-bedroom apartment. He is on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and this is his first home.
“SLH’s benefits advisor told me to try and make my claim online on the same day rather than over a few days. Although it was tempting to take my time, I’m so glad I took this advice. Otherwise I would have lost out financially as your claim only starts once you have completed your online application.”
Aneta has recently separated from her partner Daniel. They have two children and all their benefits are under Daniel’s name.
“Unfortunately I was overdrawn on my current account when I moved over to Universal Credit. I reduced this as much as I could during the month so that my Universal Credit payments were not swallowed up. I’m so glad I did, otherwise I would not have been able to pay my rent.”