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From this month (June), if you live in the Telford area, are single, newly unemployed and need to claim benefits then you will receive Universal Credit.

In Birmingham, if you are single, newly unemployed and need to claim benefits then you will have already started to receive Universal Credit, as the changes came into effect in the city in April.

Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which brings together a number of benefits and tax credits.

It will replace Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

Between now and 2017 (date subject to change), Universal Credit will be brought in for everyone claiming the benefits and tax credits being replaced.

How can I prepare for Universal Credit?

If you don’t have one already, you’ll need a bank or building society account to receive your Universal Credit payment.

If you qualify for help with your rent, it will stop being paid directly to your landlord which means that you’ll need to pay BVT yourself.

To be ready for this, make sure your bank or building society account lets you set up a direct debit to ensure that you can make regular and prompt payments.

Lastly, most people will make their claim and manage payments online, if you’re not computer savvy contact the Job Centre, or your local library, which should be able to help you to find a course.

How can I get more advice?

Call our Customer Services team on 0330 333 6540 (Birmingham) or 01952 293777 (Shropshire), or visit the Money Advice Service’s website by clicking here.

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