help with univeral credit

Help with using computers, budgeting monthly and opening bank accounts

Universal Credit aims to get as many claimants as possible to:

  • Make and maintain their claims online
  • Learn to budget monthly
  • Use direct debits and standing orders to pay their rent and other bills.

The Government recognises not all claimants will find this easy, some may never be completely successful and many may need support at least initially.

The Government is working to design a system of support which it currently calls Universal Support Delivered Locally.

The idea is that Jobcentre staff will spot claimants who need support with computers, budgeting monthly or establishing a suitable bank account. Staff will refer these claimants to support services which will be provided or commissioned by local authorities, all of which will expect to receive extra funding for this purpose.

You can find information about Universal Support Delivered Locally here – it was originally called the Local Support Services Framework.

There are 11 pilot sites for Universal Support and you can find a list of them here

The Government can make exceptions to the default arrangement which is that Universal Credit is paid calendar monthly into a single bank account, including the rent element. Under Alternative Payment Arrangements:

  • The rent element can be paid to the claimant’s current landlord
  • Payments can be made more frequently, such as twice per month
  • Payments can be split between two members of a couple.

You can read the Personal Budgeting Support and Alternative Payments Arrangements Guidance here.