Today I learnt of some new developments in the universal credit roll out. These changes are devastating and they left me lost for words. I’ll explain now but please share.
When universal credit first came out you could not apply for it if you were already claiming housing benefit. There was a glitch in the system and the computer said no. They’ve sorted this so here goes.
They are now transferring people onto universal credit from JSA. There’s no option to say no, they are simply changing their claim. Their existing claim will be shut down, as will their claim for housing benefit. The claimant will also have to go to the local council offices to sort out the council tax payments, if not they will be left with a massive bill.
Why am I so worried? If you are already in debt with your rent due to the bedroom tax this will be fatal. They say it takes a month for a universal credit claim to go through, but Infact it takes a lot longer. In that time a claimant could well loose their house. Under universal credit you cannot claim housing benefit until your claim for universal credit has gone through. This leaves you with no money and no rent paid… A no win situation. You can apply for an emergency payment but you would have to pay this back. Considering that you could very likely loose your home, how could you pay it back?
If this happens to you when you next go to the Jobcentre, the first thing that you must do is to go to your housing association or landlord and keep them updated of your situation. They might be sympathetic towards your claim if you do this.
I have described universal credit as the Devils machine in the past. People laughed at me, but I don’t think that I’m far from the truth. No one is safe from universal credit, even pensioners. Universal credit ruins lifes.
Stay strong, please share this and I will keep you updated of anymore changes.
A quick note. My local council want to shut down the libary and move it into a much smaller space that will not be suitable for the job searches required for universal credit. It will be in the main council building making it constrained to opening times within the council offices opening times. They have done this in another local town and it’s so small people cannot use the computers with any privacy at all. The libary also holds several community groups and Is a historic building. Please sign this petition to stop the council from shutting the libary.
Please read this… New plans for the universal jobmatch website…
Also please sign this petition.