A new benefit called Universal Credit has started to replace a range of benefits and tax credits for people of working age. The scheme is being rolled out in South Tyneside on a phased basis.
If you already claim one of the benefits Universal Credit is due to replace, you will continue to do so as normal until you are told you need to claim Universal Credit instead. You will be informed directly so you don't need to take action immediately.
Universal Credit brings together six benefits and tax credits and replaces them with a single monthly payment.
It is replacing the following:
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
Any benefits you receive which are not included in the above list will continue to be paid as usual, such as Child Benefit, Carers Allowance and Personal Independence Payment.
Universal Credit will not affect you, if you and your partner (if you have one) are Pension Credit age.
If you are a South Tyneside Homes tenant, these changes will affect how you now pay your rent. Once you make the change from your current benefits to receiving Universal Credit, it will be your responsibility to pay your own rent.
It is important that you know how much you rent is and when it is due so you can manage your payments correctly.