The new system will be launched in the majority of the district from Wednesday July 4 2018. Some of the district's postcodes which are covered by Guildford will go live with the system much later, in October.

Universal Credit replaces the following means tested benefits and tax credits for working age people: income support, income based job seekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit.

The new arrangements will mean that most people who are of working age and need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits - including the council's housing benefit  -  will need to claim Universal Credit instead. There are some exceptions, for example large families, people who are in supported / exempt accommodation or temporary accommodation.

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and claimants will receive a single payment rather than having to make separate claims for each different benefit.

People needing to claim Universal Credit from July 4 will only be able to make and maintain their claims online. In order to start the process people are being urged to ensure that they have already verified their identity

People who do not have access to the internet can use the computers at Chichester District Council's offices at East Pallant House, East Pallant, Chichester.

The council is also offering some assisted digital support to help people who are not online, and claimants will need to book an appointment for this service. People who would like to book an appointment should contact the Revenues team.

People can also access budgeting and advice when making a claim online using the DWP's toolkit  

People can find more information on the Government's  Universal Credit page or from Chichester District Council.

What is Universal Credit?

It is a single monthly payment for people who are both in and out of work and on a low income.

It combines some of the benefits and tax credits that people may be receiving now and will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit, and
  • Council Housing Benefit for most working age customers.

Universal Credit does not affect pensioners.

There is an  introductory guide explaining what Universal Credit is and what it means for claimants, which has been produced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Date of release: 29 June 2018    

Reference: 3818