Universal Credit will be introduced in East Ren from February 15 and the council’s money advice and rights experts are sharing ways those affected can be best prepared.
The new benefit, introduced by the Government will bring together a number of benefits into one payment and will be paid monthly in arrears.
East Renfrewshire Council is urging anyone affected by the welfare changes to seek free support and advice from its money advice and rights team (MART). They can help residents manage their finances and make sure locals are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.
Here are some of the MART team’s tips on ways to be prepared for Universal Credit.
Draw up a household budget. While Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, your rent has to be paid in advance. You may have to wait up to six weeks for your first payment, so drawing up a household budget will help you to manage.
Make sure paying your rent is your top priority. When you receive your Universal Credit payment you will have more money in your account than you would under the old system. This is because Universal Credit will include money for your housing costs. Nothing is more important than keeping a roof over your head so it is very important that you are not tempted to spend more than you can afford on other things.
Your local Credit Union can help you to save a small amount of money each week and can help you to access low-cost loans.
For more information on Universal Credit see ERC’s website at: www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/universalcredit