page 13 – are you next for universal credit?

are you next for universal credit?

The nationwide rollout of Universal Credit will continue throughout 2018, and is due to reach Durham city and Spennymoor this summer.

Universal Credit will be introduced for all claimants under pensionable age using the Durham city and Spennymoor Job Centre offices from June 2018. This includes couples and families.

It is a single payment scheme that will replace several benefits including: Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

All applications are carried out online, with payments being made directly to a claimant’s bank account. There is no paper-based application, cheque or cash alternative.

If you’re worried about the introduction of Universal Credit, here a few easy steps you can carry out today:

  • Set up an email address if you don’t already have one – you will not be able to apply for Universal Credit without one.
  • If you don’t have access to your own computer and internet connection, find out where your nearest free access point is. Durham County Council provides a number of locations here.
  • If you don’t have your own bank, building society or credit union account, you’ll need to set one up.

County Durham Housing Group’s dedicated Universal Credit Team area also on hand to provide advice and guidance.

Anita Lowther, Universal Credit Team Leader, said: “I can entirely understand why some people see the introduction of Universal Credit as daunting, but there’s lots of help out there.

“Whether you’ve never used a computer before, or are worried about setting up a bank account, there are friendly and impartial people who can offer advice and assistance.

“If you’re concerned, give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction.”

Customers living in the Spennymoor and Durham city areas can contact the County Durham Housing Group Universal Credit Team by calling 0800 068 0013 or emailing