Will I better switch to universal loans?
Most people get a similar amount on Universal Loans – within £ 100 a year of what they would get under the old “legacy” system. But a few are going to be better or worse off £ 1,000 a year. You can find out what you are entitled to with our free performance calculator. That way you can tell if you are getting better or worse.
Who is Probably Better Off?
The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that those who live in expensive cities like London and pay the rent to private landlords are most likely to benefit from it. It is estimated that around one in three applicants will see their entitlement increase by at least £ 1,000 per year.
Who could be worse off?
Most of those applicants who may lose £ 1,000 a year or more have been hit by the harsher treatment of those with savings from universal credit. If you have savings or capital in excess of £ 6,000 up to £ 16,000, your Universal Loan will be reduced – anything over £ 16,000 and you will not get a Universal Loan. In the meantime, any savings or capital will NOT be taken into account when you receive a tax credit.
So if you are considering making a new universal loan claim, seek advice from a benefits specialist if you can. You can also use our free performance calculator to find out what you’re entitled to. That way you can tell if you are getting better or worse. You don’t want to miss out on the help you need now by not making a claim, but you need to be aware of the possible consequences – and once you’ve made the switch there is no going back.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind:
- Transition from housing benefit to universal credit? You will continue to receive Housing Allowance for two weeks after your new universal credit claim begins. This is to reduce the risk of rent arrears.
- Lost your job but got your final salary after applying for a universal loan? Don’t be shocked if you make the decision that your first universal credit is £ 0. It just means that your last month’s wage removed you from eligibility. While you won’t get any money in the first month, your universal loan will be adjusted to reflect your new earnings as long as you update your earnings in your journal each month.
What else do I have to know?
It’s not just the amount of support you get that varies. Some of the general rules may vary, including how long you will receive benefit after a claim has started and the frequency of your payments. Many older benefits are weekly, fortnightly and monthly, while the universal loan is a monthly payment. The commitments that you must agree to in order to remain eligible also vary.