Universal Credit – What you need to know
Changes to benefits now mean that Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and other benefits have been replaced by universal credit. Although this is supposed to make your life simpler, checking your universal credit eligibility and applying can be a bit confusing.
That’s where the Citizens Advice Bureau in East Dunbartonshire can help. We offer free, confidential universal credit advice to any local resident who needs it. So, before you apply for universal credit, get in touch with us. We can talk you through what happens next.
Are you eligible?
Although eligibility for universal credit can seem complicated, it’s really nothing to worry about. Once you’ve applied, you’ll be assessed under one of four groups, depending on your circumstances. For example, you may be the lone parent of a young child, be sick or disabled and unable to work, or have been receiving Job Seekers Allowance. If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, just give us a call or pop in to one of our offices.
Easy online applications
It’s much easier to apply for benefits these days. Everything is done online, as universal credit is totally digital! That means no more waiting on the phone or finding time to book an appointment. If you don’t have internet access at home, don’t worry. You can visit our offices at Springfield House, Emerson Road, Bishopbriggs or Alexandra Street, Kirkintilloch. Or drop into one of our outreach posts in East Dunbartonshire. Our friendly staff will help you access the internet and apply online.
What do you need to claim?
It’s important to ensure you have all the right documents to hand before you make an application. Citizens Advice Bureau can make sure you have everything you need, so the whole process is quick and easy. As a rough guide, you’ll need things like:
- Your NI number
- Your address and postcode (and your landlord’s contact details)
- Details of your rent and anyone who lives with you
- The bank account you’d like your benefits paid into
- Details of your savings and any income from work or other means
It’s best to pop in and see us before you apply, so we can make sure you have the right evidence to support your claim. Once you’ve applied, you’ll need to make an appointment with Jobcentre Plus. This is just for a short interview where you’ll take along your documents and sign your claimant commitment.
Universal Credit Advice Scotland
At East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau, we offer free and confidential advice. Have questions about applying for universal credit? Or perhaps you need some help booking your interview at Jobcentre Plus? That’s why we’re here. Simply contact us or make an appointment today for universal credit advice.