Universal Credit (UC) replaces a number of benefits such as Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit.
At the moment only single people who would normally claim Jobseeker's Allowance can claim UC but from 11 October 2017, anyone who makes a new claim for Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based), Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) or Tax Credits will claim UC instead.
Universal Credit will be paid to you every month in arrears and will include housing costs (money for your rent).
You will be responsible for paying rent directly to St Leger Homes so its vital to prepare in the following ways so you don't fall behind:
Pay your rent by Direct Debit
This is the easiest way to pay because your bank or building society makes the payment for you. You won't have to queue to pay in the post office or local store. Find out more about Direct Debit.
Have the right bank, building society or Credit Union account
This is essential to be able to receive monthly Universal Credit payments and set up Direct Debits to pay your bills. The Post Office Card Account is not ideal for receiving Universal Credit because it doesn't offer services like Direct Debit and Standing Order and you can't have wages paid in.
South Yorkshire Credit Union offer a budget account to receive Universal Credit and pay essential bills. Find out more about the budget account.
Most high street banks offer basic bank accounts which do offer these services along with online banking which makes it even easier to manage your money.
If you claim Universal Credit with your partner, you will receive a single monthly payment for both of you. Therefore you may wish to have it paid into a joint account to allow both of you to access your money.
Manage your money
Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears and you will have to wait around 6 weeks for your first payment. It will be vital to save money beforehand to see you through this period.
After the initial 6 weeks you will need to budget on a monthly basis to pay for essentials like food and toiletries and also pay your essential bills such as rent, Council Tax and your utilities.
Opening a budget account with South Yorkshire Credit Union will help you achieve this and stop you falling into arrears. Find out more about the budget account.
If you think you may struggle, the Money Advice Service's Money Manager offers practical support and advice for those claiming Universal Credit.
Most people will have to make their Universal Credit claim and keep it up to date online. You will need to regular access to the internet and have an email address. If you don't have the internet at home, you can get access for free at your nearest library.
If you're worried about not having the IT skills required, St Leger Homes and all Doncaster libraries run free beginner courses which includes how create your own email address. For more information call St Leger Homes on 01302 862743.
Find out how ready you are on the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Find out more about Universal Credit here.