|5 minute read
Updating your Universal Credit online account
Written by Zara Kelly, financial inclusion manager
Keeping your Universal Credit online account up to date will make sure you're not missing out.
If you haven’t done the tasks on your to do list, or reported a change in circumstances, you might not be getting the money you’re entitled to.
Complete tasks on your to do list
Things you need to do when claiming Universal Credit are on the to do list on your online account. It’s important you check it often and complete any tasks as soon as you can.
For example, we often find customers aren’t getting paid the right amount because they’ve forgotten to update their rent charges. A task for this is usually added to your to do list around April each year. If it’s not, you can still update your account with any changes to your rent by reporting a change of circumstances.
If you’re not sure what tasks you’ve already done, look at the journal on your online account. This is a record of everything you’ve done whilst claiming Universal Credit.
Report a change in circumstances
You need to report changes to your circumstances on your online account as soon as you can. Otherwise, you might not get the right amount each month. A change of circumstances can include:
- Your partner moving out
- Moving in with your partner
- Finding or finishing a job
- Changes to your earnings if you’re self-employed
- Having a child
- Starting to care for a child or disabled person
- Moving to a new address
- Changing your bank details
- Your rent going up or down
- Changes to your health condition
- Becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach
One of the most common changes customers forget to report is when a partner on a joint tenancy has moved out. If this has happened to you, you can report a change in circumstances to say you are now solely liable for the rent payments for your home (you should include the date this change happened).
Keep in touch with your work coach
You can use the journal on your online account to send messages to your work coach, and they can use it to send messages to you. Messages are saved in your journal so you can look back on them.
It’s a good idea to update your work coach if you’ve reported a change in circumstances or have completed a task on your to do list. If you’ve been missing out on what you’re entitled to, you can ask for this money to be back dated. If it’s for the housing element of your Universal Credit, you can also ask for this back dated money to be paid directly to your landlord.
Here’s an example of what you could say to your work coach if you’ve updated your rent charges and now have a back dated claim:
“I have now completed the task on my to do list to update my rent charges. This means I have only been getting partial payments for the housing element of my Universal Credit since [add the date]. Please make sure that the housing element of my Universal Credit is back dated in full and paid to my landlord so that I can sustain my tenancy.”
Here’s an example of what you could say to your work coach if a partner on a joint tenancy has moved out and you now have a back dated claim:
“I have reported a change in circumstances which means I have only been getting partial payments for the housing element of my Universal Credit since [add the date]. I have been solely liable for the rent payments since this date so am entitled to claim the full housing element of my Universal Credit. Please make sure that the housing element of my Universal Credit is back dated in full and paid to my landlord so that I can sustain my tenancy.”
Remember to check any back dated money you’ve claimed is on your next Universal Credit statement.
Need more support?
We know Universal Credit can be complicated. If you don't think you're getting what you're entitled to, or are struggling with money in general, our financial inclusion team can help.
The team offer free, one-to-one support to Home Group customers and can help with things like claiming benefits and Universal Credit updates. To ask for a referral:
- Join us on live chat
- Call us 0345 141 4663
- Speak to your housing manager