Universal Credit is a new benefit that has been introduced by the government and is currently being rolled out across the country. It replaces six means tested benefits and is designed to help people who are unemployed or on a low income. These are referred to as ‘legacy’ Benefits. It affects people of working age. The means tested Benefits that Universal Credit has replaced are as follows:
- Housing Benefit
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Related)
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
From the 21st November 2018 all properties within the Bolsover District Council area now fall under ‘Full Service’ Universal Credit legislation. This means that you are no longer able to submit a NEW claim for Housing Benefit unless you meet any of the following criteria:
- You are of Pension Age
- You already receive a Severe Disablement Premium within an existing ‘legacy’ Benefit
- You are residing in Supported Accommodation
If you are needing assistance towards paying you Housing Costs, and none of the above criteria applies to your circumstances, you should now instead claim for Universal Credit. You can apply for Universal Credit here.
If you are currently claiming universal credit, or think this may affect you in the future, then you need to start preparing for the full service rollout. Universal Credit is a fully digital service - this means that you have to claim online and your claim thereafter is managed online. As a part of your Universal Credit claim you must have access to an email account as you will receive all of your claim correspondence through email.
You will need to have a transactional bank account / Building Society account / Credit Union account to receive your Universal Credit payments. Your Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears; this means you will need to start to plan to budget monthly.
Further information regarding Universal Credit is also available on the Governments website
Council Tax Support
Whether you claim Universal Credit, or Housing Benefit, you will still need to apply for Council Tax Support directly with Bolsover District Council.
More information on Council Tax Support, and the claims process, can be found under the Council Tax Support drop down on this webpage.
If you are unhappy with the decision made regarding your benefit, there are several options available to you.
Do you think our decision is wrong?
As soon as you get our decision letter you should check its content. If you think we have made a mistake. You can ask for more information.
If you think that we have made a mistake you can request the following:
That we look at our decision again, or that we pass your case to an independent tribunal that is run by the Tribunals Service, by appealing against the decision.
If you want us to look at our decision again, or if you want to appeal, you must write and tell us why you think our decision is wrong within one calendar month of the date of the letter notifying you of the decision.
We will check your claim thoroughly and take account of any more information you have provided with your written request. It may also mean that we have to contact you for further information.
We could then:
- Change our decision and pay you more benefit;
- Change our decision and pay you less benefit; or
- Decide the decision is already correct and therefore make no changes.
In any of the above cases we will write to you to let you know what we have decided and the reasons for the decision.
If you have asked us to look at your case again, and you are still not happy with our decision, you can still appeal. Your case will then be referred to the Tribunals Service. You must do this in writing, within one calendar month of the date of our decision letter. If you appealed we will pass your case to the Tribunals Service. We will do this if we have not changed our decision or if we have changed our decision and we are now paying you less benefit.
If your appeal is late, and we do not accept your reasons for the delay, your case will still be passed to the Tribunals Service for consideration.
The Tribunals Service
If we are unable to alter our decision we will prepare your case for an Independent Tribunal and tell you if you need to do anything further.
These are administered by the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. We will send both you and the HM Courts and Tribunals Service a copy of our response. You can choose an oral or paper based hearing. The tribunal will then make a decision on your appeal.
The Housing Benefit scheme is administered under legislation and regulations issued by central government to assist residents, on a low income, to meet the costs of their rent.
There are several types of benefits you may be able to claim to assist with your rent including rent rebate, rent allowance or Local Housing Allowance (LHA). You can also use the benefits calculator to calculate your Housing Benefit entitlement before applying and we have also introduced our own Debt Recovery Policy (223kb).
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) – 0844 848 9800
- Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre – 01246 231441
- Advice Derbyshire – 0844 848 9800
- 2 Shires Credit Union – 01909 500575
- National Debt line – 0808 808 4000
- Release – 01773 306289 or 07932 088331
Need Assistance with your claim?
We may be able to offer you with assistance in applying for Benefits or maintaining your data. If you are unable to visit one of our Contact Centres and would like a Visiting Officer to assist you, in your own property, please contact us on 01246 242436.
We can visit you to offer you assistance with completing a new claim form, providing details or evidence in support of your new claim or a change in circumstances. We would generally contact you, prior to visiting, to arrange a mutually convienient time and would always carry photographic Bolsover District Council endorsed ID.
If you move house or any details change which may affect your Council Tax liability, you are required by law to notify us.
You must notify us of any of the following changes:
- Have you moved house?
- Do you qualify for a discount disregard?
- Has someone passed away?
- Do you live alone?
- Has someone moved in with you?
- Any other changes? e.g. Change of Name, Change in method of payment.
You should therefore inform us of any changes to your circumstances. You can do this by email, post or by visiting one of our Contact Centres. You can download a change of circumstances form here.