Introduction of Universal Credit for Bexley residents

Bexley residents who receive their benefits through the Bexleyheath Job Centre will be affected by the full service rollout of Universal Credit from 24 October 2018. 

Universal Credit will replace:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income based)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

If you already receive one of these benefits and your circumstances change after 24 October, or you need to make a new claim, then you may have to apply for Universal Credit.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr David Leaf said: “Any change to the welfare system can cause worry and uncertainty, so it is very important that anyone with questions, comments or concerns seeks advice and help so that they are aware of the full facts. 

“There has been some coverage in the media about Universal Credit, which may cause alarm. But it is important that people check their own circumstances and not be put off by what they may have heard or read.”

If you currently receive any of the benefits that are being replaced by Universal Credit you will be moved onto it as part of a managed migration process at some point over the next few years and will be told when this is happening. 

Universal Credit is different because it is one single payment each month instead of separate payments for each benefit. It is paid monthly into a bank, building society or Credit Union account and can include an amount for Housing which residents will need to pay to their landlord. If residents live with a partner and both claim they will get one monthly payment for their household under Universal Credit.

When eligible residents apply they will need registered ID, a registered UK bank account and internet access. For this reason, eligible residents are being encouraged to open a bank account if they don’t have one, make sure they have approved ID documents and to become digitally confident so they can manage their claim online. 

There is help and advice available at all stages of a Universal Credit claim. The London Borough of Bexley is working closely with partners at Jobcentre Plus and in other organisations to support residents through this change. 

The Council is also working with the Citizens Advice to make personal budgeting and debt management advice available. Citizens Advice can also help with making a Universal Credit claim and managing a Universal Credit account.

We also have arrangements with Kent Savers Credit Union to provide loans to help people to clear arrears. 

We are also raising awareness of additional financial help that may be available through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Disabled Relief on Council Tax.

Useful local contacts include –

Find out more about Universal Credit, including whether you are eligible or find out more about making a claim. Or find out more from the Bexley Team.