�Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work, replacing from 22 November:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-based Jobseekers’ allowance
- Income-based Employment & Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
If you are of State Pension age you will not be able to claim Universal Credit and will still be able to claim Housing Benefit. For more a more detailed explanation about Universal Credit, please:
- visit the Understanding Universal Credit webpage or
- view the: DWP Universal Credit video on YouTube.
If you’re already receiving benefits
If you are already claiming at least one of these benefits or tax credits and your circumstances do not change, the DWP will transfer you onto Universal Credit at a later date.
How to apply
Universal Credit is claimed and managed online.
Apply for Universal Credit - GOV.UK
How we can help
Universal Credit is run by the DWP and not the Council. However we do still offer some help.
- Council Tax Support to help people with their Council Tax bill.
- Discretionary Housing Payments to assist people who are receiving their Housing Costs paid through Universal Credit but are struggling to pay their rent, or need help with moving costs or rent in advance.
- Financial assistance information about other local and national agencies which may be able to offer support.
- The Income Collection team from Two Rivers Housing have launched a new service, designed to give their customers better access to their services by using space at Cinderford & Coleford Job Centres each week to provide a drop-in session to answer questions about their rent or Universal Credit. The sessions are between 10 am & midday on Mondays in Cinderford and Tuesdays in Coleford.
Support managing your account online
If you are not confident using the internet there is a range of support available to you:
- The Forest CAB will be providing digital support for any Universal Credit customer who requires assistance. You should ask your Work Coach when attending interviews at the Job Centre about a referral to this service.
- Gloucestershire’s Adult Education team have designed courses tailored specifically to help you manage your Universal Credit account.
- Learn My Way provides a number of free courses, tutorials on using a computer, browsing the web, using email and finding work online
If you do not have access to the internet or a computer at home there are various places across the district where you can gain access for free:
- Jobcentre Plus provides free to use computers and Wi-Fi in their offices.
- Gloucestershire County Council Libraries provide free access to computers for library members and buddy support if you need additional support to get online. Free public Wi-Fi is also available at all council run and community libraries.
- Two Rivers Housing tenants can access free Wi-Fi at their offices in Newent for visitors with their own device.
- Wyedean tenants have access to a computer in their Coleford Office.
- Sky, BT and O2 mobile phone customers can access Wi-Fi hotspots on their own device.
- Computers are available at the main reception at the Council Offices in Coleford.