Date Published: 05 December 2017
Universal Credit – a benefit for working age people that replaces a number of existing benefits and tax credits – is being rolled out across the North Kesteven area.
The amount anyone gets depends on their circumstances and how much money they have coming in.
Single people claiming Jobseekers Allowance have been using this method since November 2015, but many people making a new claim for Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, or Working/Child Tax Credits will move to Universal Credit throughout 2018.
At present, it is due to be rolled out by JobCentre area. This means NG23 postcodes moved over to Universal Credit in October as part of the Grantham rollout; LN10, LN4, LN5 and LN6 postcodes will follow in March 2018; PE20 will move over in May. The remaining postcodes around the Sleaford area were due to follow in July, however following last week’s budget announcement this has been put back to November.
The Department for Work and Pensions will confirm dates with those eligible nearer the time.
However, people can start making plans for the transition now.
Recipients will need to have an email address to be able to claim Universal Credit and to manage their claim once it’s been calculated.
There are free computer access points in the District – including at NKDC’s offices in Sleaford and ONE NK at North Hykeham.
Heckington and Ruskington have their own free Community IT Groups at the Methodist Church Halls. Heckington meets on a Wednesday and Ruskington on a Thursday, both from 2pm to 4pm.
Sessions are free and are run on a drop-in basis. The groups rely on volunteers from within the community for advice. All helpers have varying levels and areas of expertise; some can use laptops and desktops, some prefer iPads and tablets and some prefer smartphones.
If you could volunteer to help at one of these sessions – you don't need to be an expert, just being able to send an email, search the internet or shop online is enough as this is what most attendees are after – please email email@example.com or call Clare on 07816 294739.
More information about Universal Credit – including applications, frequently asked questions, housing advice, free computer access points, job support and training, can be found online at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/ucan
A benefits entitlement calculator can be found online at https://n-kesteventest.entitledto.co.uk
Money advice can be found online at www.lincoln.gov.uk/moneyadvice or www.lincoln.gov.uk/budgeting, by calling 01522 873382, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.