Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are out of work or on a low income.
It is run by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces the following six main working age benefits with a single monthly payment:
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account each month. Any help you get with your rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment so you will be responsible for paying your rent to your landlord.
You should only apply to Blackpool Council for help with your rent if:
- You are a pensioner (and your partner if you have one is a pensioner), or
- You live in a hostel, refuge, sheltered housing or a supported living complex
- And you pay rent in the Blackpool Council area
Customers who need help with their council tax should continue to make this claim to the council.
You can find out more information and search for popular terms on the central government website Universal Credit
Help to claim
Universal Credit is administered online. You will need to use the internet to make and manage your claim and to search for jobs.
Help to Claim is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice, available online and by phone. It's free, independent and confidential. Citizens Advice, Blackpool can support you to make a new claim for Universal Credit from opening your account to receiving your first full payment.
You can call for an appointment at their office 6 to 10 Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9AQ on 01253 308405 or you can drop in from 10.00am to 12 noon Monday to Friday.
If you prefer to receive help over the phone you can telephone 0800 144 8444 free from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Or you can chat to one of their Help to Claim advisers online.
Blackpool libraries have computers available for residents to use free of charge. Library locations and opening times. They also they run regular job and computer skills clubs.
Personal budgeting support
If you are struggling to manage your money, tell your job coach at the Job Centre who will be able to refer you for help and advice about this.
Universal Credit does not include help towards your Council Tax. You need to apply to the council for help with this.
Free school meals
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you may be entitled to free school meals for your child/children.
Find out more information about free school meals.