Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

Universal Credit claim: Warning of when to apply for Council Tax reduction | Personal Finance | Finance

Universal Credit is a payment which may be made to help with living costs, such as if one is on low income or out of work. The payment is made up of a monthly standard allowance – which depends on one’s circumstances such as whether they’re single or a couple and 25 or older or not – as well as any extra amounts which may be available. Other forms of support may also be available. The Understanding Universal Credit website says that if a person receives Universal Credit, they may have to pay less in Council Tax.

It comes down to where one lives and their circumstances.

A person can start the process to apply for Local Council Tax Reduction on the website.

After entering one’s postcode, users are directed to the local council’s website, detailing its own guidance.

It may be that the bill can be reduced by up to 100 percent for some people, states.

Understanding Universal Credit guidance on the government website says that if a person is claiming Universal Credit for the first time they should apply for Local Council Tax Reduction straight away.

It adds that this is because “many local councils will not backdate it for you”.

The guide also explains that a person does not need to wait for their Universal Credit claim to be approved or paid.

The five-week wait for the initial payment includes a four-week assessment period, as well as up to seven days for the payment to reach one’s account.

It’s possible to apply for an advance loan in order to help with living costs during this time.

However, this interest-free payment must be paid back, starting from out of the first Universal Credit payment.

READ MORE: Universal Credit: New advance loan claim process explained as DWP announce changes

Universal Credit claimants could be able to save money in the Help to Save scheme.

Eligible recipients can get a bonus for every £1 they save over four years.

This totals a maximum possible bonus of £1,200 – which is tax-free.

Savers can put between £1 and £50 into the account each calendar month, however they do not need to pay in every month.

This can be done via debit card, standing order or bank transfer.

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