One of the biggest benefit changes in years is being rolled out across the district next week.
Staff at Incommunities are gearing up to make sure the ‘full service’ introduction of Universal Credit goes smoothly for its customers and provide any assistance needed.
Universal Credit replaces six benefits - Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support, Income Support, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
It aims to simplify the benefits system, help people of working age on low income to earn more and encourage people to move into work.
The new benefit is calculated and paid monthly direct into a person’s bank or credit union account.
Applications are made online so claimants will need internet access and an email address.
They will need to provide the following details:-
- National Insurance Number
- mobile phone number
- email address
- Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account
- proof of your rent
- details of all household members inc dates of birth
- details of any income
Incommunities’ customers already claiming Universal Credit in Bradford will face changes and will be contacted by the group’s Income Team over the next few months to be given advice on what they will need to do.
The full service roll out takes place from 20th June.
Under the changes people living in rented accommodation will be responsible for paying their rent directly to their landlord.
In preparation for the roll out Incommunities’ have:-
- run specialist in-house training for its staff on the new change.
- provided information sessions for local community groups and partners on the help available to its customers
- produced a special online guide to applying for Universal Credit – www.incommunities.co.uk – go to ‘better off Incommunities’
- provided advice to customers on opening a bank account, managing their claim online and also given advice on personal budgeting
- set up drop-in sessions in the district’s local job centres.
Dave Dickens, Incommunities’ Director of Income and Customer Services said: "The full roll out of Universal Credit is the biggest benefit change for many years. It will be a phased process so not all our customers will go onto the new benefit immediately.
"We estimate around 10,500 of our customers will be affected by 2022, but those customers currently claiming benefits do not need to do anything now, other than make sure they have a bank account and can access to a computer. However, if your circumstances change you should contact us straight away.
"We are committed to working with our partners including Bradford Council, Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work and Pensions and voluntary agencies to support local people.
"Our dedicated Income Team are available to help our customers through this new benefit system and we would urge any customer who needs advice or support to ring 01274 254777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website."
Residents can also find out more about Universal Credit by visiting www.gov.uk/universal-credit