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Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit delivered by Job Centre Plus. It's a single benefit which replaces several in and out of work benefits with one monthly payment for people of working age. 
 
•    Working Tax Credit,
•    Child Tax Credit,
•    Housing Benefit,
•    Income Support,
•    Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income based)
•    Employment and Support Allowance (Income based)

  Who will be affected?

Working age people who are in or out of work that need a top up to their income.

How can I check if I am eligible to claim Universal Credit?

If you are a single person, living in the London borough of Hackney, Islington or Waltham Forest and you become unemployed then you may be asked to claim Universal Credit.

You can use the postcode checker to see if you are eligible to claim Universal Credit. 

 How does it work?

If your claim is successful;

•    You will receive one payment for all of the benefits mentioned above.
•    You will be paid monthly in arrears.
•    You will be responsible for paying your full rent from your Universal Credit payment.
•    Claims will only be backdated to a maximum time of one month. So claim on time.
•    Universal Credit is paid into a bank, building society or Credit Union account.

You will need to claim for Council Tax Reduction separately from a claim for your housing costs.

How do I make a claim?

The Government expects almost everyone to claim Universal Credit online and to have an online account.

This means when you apply for Universal Credit you will need an email address if you don’t already have one you will need to set one up. If you need help to claim online ask at your local jobcentre. Training can sometime be provided at your local library.

Click on the Universal Credit website to see how to claim and how to manage any future changes in your circumstances.

What will I need to make a claim?

Before you start to make your claim online you will need to have the following to hand.

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or credit union account you want Universal Credit paid into
  • The full name and address of your landlord and what your rent includes i.e. service charges
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that’s not from work, e.g. from an insurance plan
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • details of any children, including their Child Benefit number.
  • details of any income for example; payslips from your job. 
  • You will need proof of your identity and to be able to verify this online.
  • child benefit reference numbers for your children
  • childcare costs if applicable.

You might also need these details for people who live in your home, e.g. your partner.

How long will it take to make a claim?

It should take 20 to 40 minutes to complete your claim.

If you’re successful, you’ll usually get your first payment 1 month  after you made your claim

 

What is the 'Claimant Commitment'?

When you make a claim for Universal Credit you will be required to sign the Claimant Commitment. This means in return for receiving Universal Credit you agree to certain conditions. For example, how long you will spend looking for work and the type of work you are looking for. 

How can I prepare for Universal Credit?

You will need to

* plan your spending carefully. Your benefit will be paid monthly and you will be responsible for paying your rent.

*You can also speak to your Work Coach and ask for budgetting support to help you manage this change.

*contact our Customer Service Team as soon as you have applied for Universal Credit. We will inform you how much rent to pay and agree with you dates to pay your rent.

*If you do need help in using a computer you can ask at your local jobcentre or contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 9344

 

 

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