Universal credit and benefits guidance
Universal credit is a single monthly benefit to help you with your living and housing costs.
You’ll go on to universal credit if you’re claiming benefits for the first time, or if you’re already on benefits and have a change in circumstances. We also expect at some point that anyone who hasn’t gone over to universal credit will have to do so.
Universal credit replaces a range of previous benefits: housing benefit; employment and support allowance; jobseeker's allowance; income support; working tax credit and child tax credit. It only applies to people of working age.
You have to claim universal credit online, so you’ll need access to the internet and an email account. You also need a bank account, as this is how your universal credit is paid to you.
How universal credit is paid
Universal credit is paid directly into your bank account. It is paid monthly in arrears, usually on the same day each month. There’s a five to six-week delay between claiming and getting your first payment.
How we can help
If you need help with your universal credit claim, we offer help and guidance. We can also help you get low-cost internet access, provide you with digital skills training and help you open a bank account.
Manage your home online
You can set up a direct debit to pay your rent via your Clarion online account. Your online account also enables you to check your statements, update your account and request repairs 24/7, 365 days a year.
How we can help
See the help and guidance offer on jobs, training and your personal finances.
I love nothing better than being able to tell someone they’re eligible for more.
financial guidance officer
Meet Geraldine – guidance officer
Geraldine provides proactive support for residents on universal credit. She’s worked at Clarion for three years, after 12 years at Citizens Advice – so has in-depth knowledge of benefits.
Each week, she receives a list of Clarion residents on universal credit to call. Some are new residents, so she’ll check they’ve got everything they need to set up their new home – advising everything from council tax to grants for furnishings.
Or they’re residents who’ve moved on to universal credit due to a change of circumstances – and may need job and training advice, or support getting online.
Whoever she calls, she listens. “There is so much fear of universal credit, so letting people know there is help is so important, especially around council tax – as so many people don’t realise it’s a separate claim.”
“I love nothing better than being able to tell someone they’re eligible for more.”
Tools for managing your money
Find out which benefits you can claim with our simple, online benefits calculator.
You’ll also be able to find out how much better off you’ll be in work.
It’s free to use, takes just a few minutes and is completely anonymous.Benefits calculator
See how a budget plan can help you stay in control of your money.
The independent Money Advice Service has a really useful online budget planner. It can help you see what you can afford and how you might be able to save money.
It’s simple to complete and anyone can use it.
If you want any help using the budget planner or our benefits calculator – or any other financial guidance – please contact our Clarion Futures Money Guidance team.