Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment designed to support people of working age who are on a low income or out of work. Administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this new benefit is designed to give people the support needed to prepare for work, to move into work, or earn more.

It will replace the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

If you are of Pension Credit age, Universal Credit will not affect you.

If you are currently claiming any of the benefits that Universal Credit will replace, you will carry on receiving these benefits as normal. You will not be moved onto Universal Credit unless you have a change in your circumstances.

Universal Credit does not include any help to pay your Council Tax bill. If you need help, you can apply for Council Tax Support 

Can I claim Universal Credit?

If you need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits and you do not have more than two children, you will have to apply for Universal Credit instead.

If you live in supported accommodation (such as a hostel) you will still need to claim Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs.

More information about Universal Credit and how to claim can be found on the DWP website.

If you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit and you need help with housing costs, you should apply for Housing Benefit instead. You can also visit www.gov.uk for information about other benefits you can claim.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

If you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, you will need to apply online. Guidance on how to do this can be found on the gov.uk website. If you need help to apply, assistance is available at various places across the district.

Get help to make your claim for Universal CreditAssisted Digital Support is help with getting on-line to make or manage your claim for Universal Credit. Help will normally be available at Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract job centres. However, this assistance is also available from a number of locations across the Wakefield district.

Wakefield Council

Where When
Wakefield Customer Access Point
Wakefield One, Burton Street,
Wakefield, WF1 2DA
Monday to Friday8:30am - 5pm
Airedale Library
The Airedale Centre, The Square, Airedale,
Castleford, WF10 3JJ
Tel: 01977 724040
Tuesday
Wednesday
10am - 3pm
10am - 3pm
Castleford Library
Carlton Street,
Castleford, WF10 1BB
Tel: 01977 722085
Tuesday
Friday
10am - 1pm
10am - 1pm
Featherstone Library
Victoria Street, Off Station Lane, Featherstone,
Pontefract, WF7 5BB
Tel: 01977 722745
Monday
Thursday
10am - 3pm
10am - 3pm
Hemsworth Library
Market Street, Hemsworth,
Pontefract, WF9 4JY
Tel: 01977 722270
Monday
Friday
11am - 3pm
11am - 3pm
Horbury Library
Westfield Road, Horbury,
Wakefield, WF4 6HP
Tel: 01924 303060
Tuesday 10am - 3pm
Normanton Library
Market Street, Normanton,
WF6 2AR
Tel: 01924 302525
Monday 10am - 3pm
Ossett Library
Ossett Town Hall, Market Place,
WF5 8EB
Tel: 01924 303040
Monday 10am - 3pm
Pontefract Library
Shoemarket, Pontefract
WF8 1BD
Tel: 01977 727692
Monday
Wednesday
2pm - 4pm
2pm - 4pm
Sandal Library
Sparable Lane, Sandal,
Wakefield, WF1 5LJ
Tel: 01924 303355
​Monday Friday​10am - 3pm
10am - 3pm
South Elmsall Library
Barnsley Road, South Elmsall,
Pontefract, WF9 2AA
Tel: 01977 723220
​Tuesday Friday​11am - 3pm
11am - 3pm
Stanley Library
Lake Lock Road, Stanley,
Wakefield, WF3 4HU
Tel: 01924 303130
​Monday Friday​2pm - 4pm
10am - 1pm
Wakefield Library
Wakefield One, Burton Street, Wakefield, WF1 2DA
Tel: 01924 305376
​Mon to Fri 10am - 3pm

 

If you require assistance at a specific library outside of their allocated times, you should phone the library first to see if assistance is available – otherwise, please use an alternative location.
If you do not need assistance but just require access to a computer, these are available at all the above locations.

Opening hours

Wakefield and District Housing (WDH)

WDH will provide digital assistance to any Wakefield resident – you do not need to be a WDH tenant to access this support.
Please telephone 01977 724651 to book an appointment or call in to any of the following locations -

Where When
WDH
Wakefield Hub
The Bullring
Wakefield, WF1 1HA
Monday to Friday
Saturday
9am - 4:30pm
9am - 12noon
WDH
Pontefract Hub
1 Horsefair
Pontefract, WF8 1PE
Monday to Friday
Saturday
9am - 4:30pm
9am - 12noon
WDH
Airedale Service Access Point
Stansfield Road
Airedale, WF10 3BY
Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm
WDH
South Elmsall Service Access Point
Exchange Street
South Elmsall, WF9 2RD
Monday to Friday9am - 4pm

Other locations

Where When
Upton Community Facility and Library Monday
Wednesday
Friday
Saturday
10am - 4pm
10am - 4pm
10am - 4pm
10am - 1pm
Havercroft and Ryhill Community Learning CentreWednesday Computers are available for general use between 13.00 and 15.00
Assistance is by appointment only – please telephone
01226 727824
The Career Cabin
17 Bank Street
Castleford
WF10 1JD
Monday to Friday
Saturday
10am - 5pm
10am - 2pm

Advance Payments of Universal Credit

If you think that you will struggle to manage while you are waiting for your first payment of Universal Credit, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for a short term advance.

More information

Alternative Payment Arrangements

You may be able to have your Universal Credit paid more frequently than monthly, or have it paid direct to your landlord. Speak to your Work Coach at the Job Centre to see if you are eligible for Alternative Payment Arrangements.

Managing your money

Personal budgeting support is available to help you manage your money. This support is available from Wakefield Council and Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

If you are receiving Universal Credit, you can get help in managing your budget. You may be referred by your Work Coach for a personal budgeting support meeting or you can request this yourself.

These meetings are by appointment only.

Please telephone any of the providers during the days/times below to book an appointment.

Please do not telephone Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) on a Saturday morning, although appointments can be made for those times, as indicated below.

Your meeting can be held at any of the locations shown below or, if you prefer, by telephone. In addition, WDH can arrange to meet you at your home, in a local library, community centre or at a WDH Work Club if this is more convenient.

WDH will provide personal budgeting support to any Wakefield resident – you do not need to be a WDH tenant to access this support from them.

The location of the meeting will be agreed when you book your appointment.

Where When
Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
Burton Street
WF1 2EB
Tel: 0345 8 506 506
Monday to Friday8:30am - 5pm
WDH
Wakefield Hub
The Bullring
Wakefield, WF1 1HA
Tel: 01977 724651
Monday to Friday
Saturday
9am - 4:30pm
9am - 12noon
WDH
Pontefract Hub
1 Horsefair
Pontefract, WF8 1PE
Tel: 01977 724651
Monday to Friday
Saturday
9am - 4:30pm
9am - 12noon
WDH
Airedale Service Access Point
Stansfield Road
Airedale, WF10 3BY
Tel: 01977 724651
Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm
WDH
South Elmsall Service Access Point
Exchange Street
South Elmsall, WF9 2RD
Tel: 01977 724651
Monday to Friday9am - 4pm

Money Smart

Additional advice and support is also available from Money Smart. This is a free Council service to help you become smarter at managing your money and making the most of your income. Money Smart may be able to help you to:

  • manage your money and help you save or control your debt
  • access benefits
  • reduce your fuel bills and other costs
  • make your home warmer with home insulation and heating improvements
  • get back in to employment or improve your job skills

Contact the Money Smart Team now to find out more:

Telephone: 01924 307272

E-mail: moneysmart@wakefield.gov.uk

Cash Wise

Cash Wise provides district wide support to help you to get back on track with your finances, understand your priority payments, create a household budget and access any other services suitable for your needs. The team can also support you to apply for Universal Credit and navigate the digital process.

Our Cash Wise website is a useful tool to help improve your financial confidence and provides lots of information on managing your money, help with benefit issues, healthy eating and job advice.

Website: www.getcashwise.co.uk

You can contact the team via the website or by calling 01977 724651.

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial advice on how to manage your income. If you need to claim Universal Credit, or are already receiving it, their website has a lot of useful information and guidance that will help you make the most of your money.

More information

Information for landlords

More information about Universal Credit for landlords is available on the DWP website.