1. Do you have a bank account?
You’ll need to have access to a bank account to be able to receive your Universal Credit payments as everything is done electronically. We recommend that you set up an account and update your Universal Credit account to reflect your new details.
Did you know that Great Places works with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to help residents set up current accounts? Make sure to take proof of your identity and a copy of your tenancy agreement to your local RBS branch to get set up.
2. Do you have on-going access to the internet?
Claiming and receiving Universal Credit is all done online, including managing your account and claim. Think about where and when you can access the internet – many of our customers require daily access to their account. If you need free access to a PC - find an online centre near you.
3. Did you know that Council Tax Support is on offer?
If you are already on Council Tax Support – let your local authority know that you’ve claimed Universal Credit.
Be mindful that Universal Credit does not automatically give you access to Council Tax Support, so your local authority may ask for further evidence in relation to your claim. They will usually need to see the Universal Credit award breakdown as they tend to use that to assess whether you’ll be entitled to Council Tax Support.
4. Double checked all of your details?
Providing incorrect or false information could delay the Housing Costs Element of your claim - check that you’ve correctly provided:
- Rent amount
- Tenancy start date
- Name and address for your landlord
5. Were you able to verify your ID online?
You will be asked to verify your ID online when you make a claim for Universal Credit. If you were unable to do so, you must book and attend an identification appointment at the Job Centre.
If you are hoping to request an Advanced Payment on your claim, you will have needed to have verified your identity beforehand in order to receive your payment.
6. Attend any meetings or interviews that you’re invited to
You will need to book and attend several interviews/meetings throughout the claim process. If you are part of a couple, both members will need to attend. Your claim can be closed down if you fail to attend or are late for an appointment.
NB. Since COVID-19, DWP are telling customers “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.
7. Remember – Universal Credit puts you in control
Make sure you check your emails and text messages for any prompts and to update your journal.
8. Universal Credit is paid monthly, on the same day
Many people find setting up a monthly direct debit or standing order helps them pay their rent on time each month. It’s also useful to let Great Places know your payment date. You can set up direct debit payments by calling us on 0300 123 1966. You will just need to have your bank account details ready.
Things to consider . . .
Will you be able to cope with monthly payments?
If you’re concerned, you can ask for more frequent payments under Alternative Payments Arrangements (normally a payment that’s made every two weeks).
Are you getting all the other benefits you’re entitled to?
Remember that Universal Credit only replaces six benefits. All of the other benefits can still be claimed and could increase your overall income – in particular, Personal Independence Payment. There are tools available to help you see whether you can claim any benefits.