Universal Credit is coming to Cardiff

Universal Credit is coming to Cardiff


The Universal Credit full service arrives in the city next week and Cardiff Council has plans in place to help people affected by the changes.


Under the changes, working age households will no longer be able to make a new claim for benefits including Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance which are now called ‘legacy' benefits.


From Wednesday February 28, households with less than three children in the city making a new claim will apply for Universal Credit. Changes to a household's circumstances could also mean that a claim for Universal Credit will need to be made.


Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears into a bank account and as a single payment to a household. Claimants will need to claim and maintain their account online.


Help is available at Central Library Hub and at the network of community hubs throughout the city to prepare people for Universal Credit, including free access to PCs and free Wifi.


Frontline staff provide digital support for claimants from the basics of getting online to opening a bank account and managing it online, including setting up direct debits and standing orders.


The money advice team can help claimants withmonthly budgetingandbasic debt advice as well as assistance on maximising incomeandreducing outgoings.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "Claiming Universal Credit will be very different to previous experiences of claiming benefits people may have had and the Council is here to provide support and advice to help people through the process.


"When someone will need to claim Universal Credit very much depends on their circumstances and the number of children in the household. We expect there to be close to 3,000 new claims in Cardiff in the first month but eventually everyone who claims one of the old benefits will have to claim Universal Credit.


"We are expecting there to be an increase in demand for our advice services as a result of the changes and staff at our hubs are ready to support people who need assistance with their claim.

We can also help claimants withtraining and volunteering opportunities,preparing for workandapplying for jobs.


"In areas where these changes have already taken place, local authorities have seen rent collection rates reducing for Universal Credit claimants and significant proportions of tenants on Universal Credit slipping into arrears.


This is something we want to avoid in Cardiff and we will be working with tenants and clients to help mitigate the impact of the changes."


As well as support and information in the city's community hubs, the Council is now also running an outreach advice service at Foodbanks in the city to help with money matters and offersupport for people to get online and into work.


To find out more about this service visit  (or for more information on support and advice available at hubs in the city, 029 2081 7000.