Money Matters

In our last newsletter, we brought you news that Universal Credit had recently been put in place to replace a number of existing benefits and tax credits.

We have received many enquiries from Cottsway residents to ask for help in finding out more about what Universal Credit is, how it works and help to manage the new benefit and keep up with their rent payments.

Here’s a reminder of what it is and how it works:

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work.

It replaces a number of existing benefits and tax credits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit


Universal Credit is run by the Department of Work and Pensions. You will need to manage your claim online and may need to have regular meetings with a Jobcentre Plus adviser. If you make a new claim for one of these you will have to claim Universal Credit. If you already get one of these benefits or tax credits, you don’t need to do anything until your hear form the Department of Working Pensions about moving onto Universal Credit or unless your circumstances change.

What you need to do

  1. Get a bank account

You’ll need a bank, building society or credit union account your monthly payment can be paid into.

  1. Get online

You’ll need internet access to make and manage your Universal Credit claim. You will also need an email address to verify your identity online.

  1. Get budgeting

Your monthly Universal Credit payment includes any help towards paying your rent. It is paid monthly in arrears .You’ll need to budget so you can pay your rent, your bills and your other living costs. It’s a really good idea to start getting into credit with your rent now as Universal Credit can take up to 6 weeks to be paid.

If you need help with any of these, get in touch we can help.

You can apply for Universal Credit online at

Let Cottsway know you are making a claim and if you think you will struggle to manage you rent, we can help.