Five practical Universal Credit tips with Perth Citizens Advice 

A guide to help make your experience with Universal Credit a little different.

Discover all episodes
  • Episode OneWhat is Universal Credit?
  • Episode TwoHow to use a benefits calculator to check Universal Credit entitlement
  • Episode ThreeHow to apply for Universal Credit in 2021 | Step-by-step guide
  • Episode FourHow to get paid fortnightly on Universal Credit
  • Episode FiveFive practical Universal Credit tips with Perth Citizens Advice ft. Fraser Millar
  • Episode Six How to create a monthly household budget on Universal Credit
  • Episode Seven Get £100 towards Universal Credit uplift with Nationwide
  • Episode Eight How to apply for warm home discount in Scotland and save £140 on your winter energy bill

About Citizens Advice

Since 1939, tens of thousands of volunteers have played a big part in the services offered with Citizens Advice.

Begining in public houses, the service moved to accommodate those of us living in private houses, and more recently, in the 20th -century, online too.

And during World War One, a community of advisors came together with struggles relating to lost ration books, homelessness, and evacuation.

As a community, they helped to locate missing relatives, prisoners of war, and quickly helped those families with mounting household debt due to war call-ups.

Meet Fraser!

Fraser works with Perth Citizens Advice on their Help To Claim project which focuses on assisting people in their claim for Universal Credit.

Fraser is a benefits specialist and can also help us claim other benefits that are not part of Universal Credit such as housing benefit and tax credits for example.

While we have Fraser with us, we’ll discover his top five tips when claiming Universal Credit and some questions we might need to consider carefully if we’re using a benefits calculator.

TIP #1

If you are an EU Citizen, you should be thinking about completing the EU Settlement application before using a benefits calculator to work out your entitlements.

You should apply for pre-settled or settled status now. The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021.

Having pre-settled or settled status can help you get benefits, and you’ll need it if you want to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021.

By applying now, you’ll have as much time as possible to complete your application and gather any evidence you need.If you don’t apply by 30 June 2021, you can lose the right to live, work and claim most benefits in the UK.

If you don’t speak English or if you would simply prefer to complete the application form in your own native language, then if you scroll down to the bottom of this links page, you’ll be able to access various Citizens Advice guides in multiple languages.

TIP #2

If you are a student, most benefit calculators won’t advise us on what our entitlement options are.

This is because there are many sources of student funding.

Universal Credit is usually not available for students except in certain circumstances where the student has a child.

Here are some links to set you on the right path when it comes to discovering the types of benefits and money management tools you might need or find useful.

TIP #3

For the self-learners out here, there is a vast library made up of free guides and helpful tools over on Citizens Advice Scotland’s website.

Check out these self-help guides:

TIP #4

If you think you might need a boost to tie you over until the first Universal Credit payment (usually five weeks after a successful claim), then consider getting an advance payment of Universal Credit as soon as you can.

Normally, we would only be able to ask for an advance payment after we’ve had our first meeting with a work coach.

But during COVID-19, this is not the case and we can simply log into our online journal and send a message to our work coach to ask them to set up an advance payment.Consider checking out this blog post about the differences between the Universal Credit Choices and Alternative Payment Arrangement programs as they might be helpful for you.

TIP #5

Are you a single parent and need access to other benefits that are not included with Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is made up of standard allowances, extra allowances, and housing costs.

However, there are many other benefits that are not a part of Universal Credit but that we are still entitled to:

How To Find Their Online Web Chat Tool.

  1. Use Google to search for: Citizens Advice Scotland
  2. On their homepage, click ‘Get Online Advice’
  3. Click on ‘Contact Us About Universal Credit.’
  4. Scroll down until you see ‘Talk To Us Online.’ 
  5. Select the link.
  6. Click the blue button on the far right of the screen ‘Chat Available’ to speak to a live advisor.

Thanks for being here 🙂

Hopefully, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment after reading this and I bet a cuppa tea or something good like that is also on your mind?

We really hope you’ve gained some value from discovering more about why it’s a good idea to share our struggles with the people we trust and how to connect with the friendly advisors at Perth Citizens Advice.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out on social media or email and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Until next time, remember, sharing is caring.