Universal Credit

Universal Credit

Tips to help with Universal Credit

  1. Always accept your claimant commitment as you won’t get paid otherwise. If you disagree with it, you can dispute it and amend it later.
  2. If you have arrears from overpayments of benefits or tax credits; arrears from gas, electric, or water bills; rent arrears, and some loans or fines, this debt can be deducted from your Universal Credit payment. The DWP should inform you if this happens, either via letter or your online journal. If the amount you receive is not enough to cover your living expenses, you should seek advice from a welfare rights adviser (e.g. at the CAB) to try and get the amount taken off your benefit decreased. However, it is ultimately the DWP’s decision.
  3. If you apply for ESA, but your claim is rejected, this can be appealed. However, there is a time limit of a month in which you can appeal the decision, otherwise you will have to reapply.
  4. Once your application is in, it can take up to 5 weeks for your first payment to be put into your account.
  5. If you are struggling to make ends meet due to a period of crisis (i.e a flood or a fire) or if you need an essential household item (such as a cooker or washing machine) and have no means of paying for it, you can apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.
  6. If you are struggling to pay rent and are at risk of losing your tenancy, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. In all cases, if you are unsure how to proceed, if you need to apply to the SWF or for a DHP, or you need to challenge or appeal a decision by the DWP, SEEK HELP! Often times, appeals and grant applications are successful, but it is better to proceed with the help of a welfare rights adviser than on your own.