Universal Credit full rollout comes to Redbridge

Published: 12 June 2018

Redbridge is set to become a Universal Credit full digital service borough on Wednesday 20 June this year.

This means that almost all working-age residents making a new claim for one of six so-called legacy benefits will have to claim Universal Credit online.

Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (SA) and Working Tax Credit.

By default, recipients receive a combined monthly payment direct to their bank accounts and are responsible for paying their rent to their landlord and budgeting for other important expenses. Payments of the rental element of Universal Credit can be made to landlords in certain circumstances.

As Universal Credit can only be applied for online, the council is encouraging local people who need internet access to visit their local library to access the internet for free and get help with completing the online form.

Currently, those living in some E11, E12 and E18 postcodes will not be able to claim Universal Credit until 25 July 2018.

A claim for Universal Credit will not have to be made by residents who are of pension age or have three or more children. Those living in temporary or supported accommodation will continue to receive Housing Benefit for their rent.  

Residents currently receiving legacy benefits will be moved over to Universal Credit from 2019 onwards – exact dates to be finalised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Cllr Kam Rai, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said, “We know the government’s decision to introduce the contentious Universal Credit programme will risk placing many of our most vulnerable residents into poverty, leaving them unable to pay rent or put dinner on the table, and face debt and eviction. We have been working hard, along with our partners, to do what we can as a local authority and ensure our residents have the necessary support at hand to guide them through the process. We will also keep pressure on the government to review this policy decision”

The council is encouraging people to speak initially with their job centre work coach for help with budgeting. Coaches will then refer residents to the council for additional support, if required.

The advice is to get in touch with your landlord straight away if having trouble paying rent.

Visit our Universal Credit page  

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