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Universal Credit

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a major change to the way in which welfare support is delivered. It was introduced in Neath Port Talbot in April 2015.

Universal Credit is not paid by Neath Port Talbot Council. If you have any questions about the amount of Universal Credit you receive or how it is paid, please contact the Universal Credit helpline on:

  • Live Service 0800 328 9344
  • Full Service 0800 328 5644

In time and for working age people Universal Credit will fully replace:

  • Jobseekers Allowance ( Income Based )
  • Employment and Support Allowance ( Income Related )
  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

As from 4th October 2017 most new claims to the above benefits will instead be made to Universal Credit

Also claimants currently in receipt of the above benefits who have a significant change in their circumstances will be required to make a claim for Universal Credit

This note gives a general guide to the changes relating to Universal Credit although each claimant will need to establish how they will be affected in their particular circumstances.

Universal Credit will start from the date you make your claim. It will only be backdated in exceptional circumstances so do not delay making your claim - you will lose money.

If you're also receiving help with paying your Council Tax you will need to report the change in your circumstances to the benefits team at Neath Port Talbot Council.

If you rent your home, the payment may include an amount for your rent and you will be responsible for paying rent to your landlord. You can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you receive help towards your housing costs in your Universal Credit

Flexible Early Payments

If you need to pay an urgent bill before your Universal Credit payment is due, you can ask for a Universal Credit advance. This will only be made if you meet certain conditions. If you receive an advance payment, future payments will be reduced to repay this advance.

To request a Universal Credit advance you will need to contact the Universal Credit helpline on:

  • Live Service 0800 328 9344
  • Full Service 0800 328 5644

Alternative Payment Arrangements

Some claimants may need extra help with moving towards a single monthly payment. If you're facing difficult circumstances, you may be able to have Universal Credit paid differently. This is called an alternative payment arrangement. Examples of alternative arrangements are:

  • Having the housing costs element paid direct to your landlord
  • Being paid twice monthly instead of monthly

Over time you will need to improve how you manage your money, so you can move off alternative payment arrangements and on to the normal Universal Credit payment.

To request an alternative payment arrangement you will need to contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.

For more details regarding Universal Credit go to  

Please note; If you are no longer claiming Housing Benefit because you now claim Universal Credit, you can still apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.


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Useful Links

More information about Universal Credit is available on the following websites:

Money Advice Service’s Online Money Manager is a new interactive tool that offers personalised advice, on making the most of your money while you’re on Universal Credit. It offers help and advice on a range of money topics, including opening a bank account, budgeting, keeping on top of bills and dealing with debt.

It includes:

  • Step-by-step questions that signpost users to financial guidance and support relevant to their personal circumstances.
  • Hints and tips for managing money and paying bills from a monthly payment.
  • Sign-posting to further support, such as Advanced Payments and free debt advice.