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What is universal credit?

Universal credit is a new single, monthly payment, introduced by government, which will replace a number of existing benefits and tax credits, including housing benefit.

Universal credit will replace:

  • Income-based job seekers allowance
  • Income-based employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credit and working tax credit
  • Housing benefit

To find out more, watch this short film about universal credit.

If you're of working age and your circumstances change, you will need to claim universal credit online. It can then take 6-8 weeks to receive your first payment so don't delay!

Customers in Salisbury, whose circumstances change, will move to universal credit from 7 June.

Customers in Trowbridge, whose circumstances change, will move to universal credit from 12 July.


Free universal credit courses

If you're unsure about getting online and using the universal credit service, book onto one of our free courses, provided by The Learning Curve.

Course dates and times

Monday 17 July, 9:30-12:00pm, Bryer Ash, Trowbridge (FULLY BOOKED)
Monday 24 July, 9:30-12:00pm, City Hall, Salisbury

Monday 7 August, 9:30-12:00pm, Bryer Ash, Trowbridge (FULLY BOOKED)
Tuesday 8 August, 1:00-3:30pm, Bryer Ash, Trowbridge
Tuesday 22 August, 2:00-4:00pm, City Hall, Salisbury

To book your place call 01225 792 500 or email The Learning Curve 


Universal credit Q&A

Q: How is universal credit different to the current benefits system?

A: Universal credit brings together multiple benefits into one payment, which will be paid directly to you, every month, into your bank or building society or post office account. This means that you will need to now pay your rent directly to us. The easiest way to pay your rent is by direct debit. Find out how to set up a direct debit here.

The government have also produced this online tool to help you see how universal credit is different to other benefits and how you can best prepare.


Q: I live with a partner, how will universal credit affect us?

A: If you live with a partner you'll now get a single payment for both of you so you might want to consider opening a joint account to help you manage your money.


Q: When will universal credit start?

A: Universal credit is currently being rolled out across the country. According to the Department for Work and Pensions, customers in Salisbury will begin to move across from 7 June, with Trowbridge customers moving over from 12 July.


Q: Who will universal credit affect?

A: Universal credit will affect those of working age, who are on a low income. If you're looking for work, or not able to work universal credit will apply.


Q: When will my benefits change?

A: You'll move to universal credit when there is a change in your circumstances that affects your existing benefit claim, such as a change to your employment status or an addition to your family.


Q: How do I apply for universal credit?

A: The Government will let you know that you need to now claim for universal credit. You will need to make your application online. If you don't have a computer you can make your claim at the local library or pop into our office in Trowbridge to use our computer in reception.


Further resources and support

For more information about universal credit visit

If you have any concerns about managing your money and the impact of universal credit please call our team at 01225 715 715 and ask to speak to an account manager. 

this page was last updated: 10/07/2017 10:57:00


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