Universal Credit & EU Citizens Rights
Tuesday 11 September 2018
The Cameron Centre, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9XB
North Bristol Advice Centre will be holding an information event on Tuesday 11 September at The Cameron Centre in Lockleaze. The morning session will be an update on Universal Credit; the afternoon session will be a briefing on the rights of EU citizens in the UK. A light vegetarian lunch will be served inbetween. This free event is for frontline workers.
Arrival – from 9.45am
Universal Credit Update - 10.00 am - 12.00pm
Information session giving an overview on Universal Credit, how it may impact services users and to clarify concerns about the roll out in North Bristol.
Networking Lunch – 12.00pm – 12.45pm
EU Citizens Rights 12.45pm – 3.00pm
Natasha Lees, from Europe Direct Information Centre at Avon and Bristol Law Centre, will provide an overview of EU Citizens rights in the UK, followed by a Q&A session.
Are You Ready for Universal Credit?
By Drew Huskisson, Advice Team Manager
Click here to download the following information as a factsheet.
Universal Credit (UC) is being rolled out across North Bristol from July 2018. Once it starts in your area, if you are claiming benefits and have a change of circumstances, it is likely you’ll will be moved onto Universal Credit. However, if you do not have any changes, then you will stay on your current benefits until 2021 or 2022.
Check https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate to see when it starts in your area.
Remember, Universal Credit is one monthly payment (not fortnightly) and will include your housing costs for you to pay your full rent.
How to prepare to make a Universal Credit Claim
Most Universal Credit applications will be done online (you may be able to do them by phone and, in exceptional circumstances, by Home Visit). You can use a computer, tablet or your smartphone. The application for a single person takes around 40 minutes and just over an hour for a couple.
To make the process easier, make sure you are prepared in advance:
1. Get an email address
You will need an email address to set up your account online. Once set up, you can opt to manage it with your mobile phone as alerts can be sent by text (rather than by email). You can set up an email address for free. If you need help to do this, see below for details of our MoneySmart Online drop-in in Lockleaze.
2. Get a bank or Credit Union account
Universal Credit will be paid into a Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account. It can be paid into a Post Office account but after starting your claim it will be expected that you move to a Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account. You can get a basic bank account or Credit Union account even if you have a poor credit history.
3. Get your ID ready
You will need ID to be able to get your Universal Credit payment. Your claim will go through without it but you will not get paid without your ID being confirmed. Even Advanced Payments are blocked until you prove your ID. This can be done online with gov.uk Verify which is quite quick if you have photo ID already (Passport, Driving Licence etc.). If you need help doing this, our MoneySmart Online volunteers can help, or you can take your ID to the job Centre. If you do not have ID then you can answer questions at the Job Centre to prove yourself (such as children’s names, where you went to school etc.) or you can get verified by a professional such as your social landlord, GP etc.
4. Get your personal details ready
You will need the following information before making your claim:
• You (and your partner's) National Insurance Number
• Your postcode
• Your email address
• Your phone number
• Your landlord's address
• How much rent you are paying
• Your bank account details
• Details of any savings you have
• If working - your expected monthly wage
• Details of any other income you receive
If you need help with setting up or managing your online UC claim, drop in to MoneySmart Online any Tuesday between 10.30am and 12.30pm, at our offices in Lockleaze, 2 Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze, BS7 9XA.
For more information on Universal Credit, click here to view our Self Help Resources page.
You’re never too old to beat loneliness
By Laura Thacker and Gemma Holden, Community Navigators Bristol
We all experience the odd bout of loneliness from time to time. For older people, this can be made worse by the loss of a loved one, missing the social contact of work after retirement or health problems that make it difficult to get out and about.
According to Age UK, there are 1.2 million older people in England who are ‘chronically lonely’. What’s more, loneliness is thought to be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, hypertension, psychological stress and may be linked to dementia.
If you are an older person who feels lonely, there are plenty of things you can do which will help:
Join a local group
There are lots of activities happening in local communities, such as coffee mornings, community choirs, walking groups or art clubs. Well Aware has a comprehensive list --you can look at the calendar of activities or search by keyword www.wellaware.org.uk
Rekindle an old hobby
If you had a much-loved hobby that fell by the wayside, now could be the time to revisit that interest. Or you could even try something completely new!
Volunteer – this is a great way to stay active and meet new people –and share your experience and skills with a local charity. You can find volunteering opportunities on the Do It website https://do-it.org/
Learn something new
Keeping the mind active in older life is as important to health as keeping physically active. The University of the Third Age (U3A) run informal activity sessions, covering hundreds of different subjects https://www.u3a.org.uk/
Get support from Community Navigators Bristol
This is a new service that offers free support and signposting to help older people feel less isolated and get more involved in their community. Community Navigators can take the time to find out what’s important to you and might even visit you at home a few times so they can support you personally. Your Community Navigator will share information about what’s happening locally to help you get involved in things you’re interested in. They can also help tackle any concerns you might have about getting out and about – things like safety, transport or money worries – by linking you up with other community groups and services that can help. And if you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, your navigator can even come along with you the first time to offer that extra support and reassurance.
How to get support
If you are over 50 and you’re feeling lonely or isolated, get in touch with Community Navigators Bristol. You can also make a referral on behalf of someone you know.
For more information visit www.communitynavigators.org.uk
Community Navigators Bristol is run by a partnership of trusted local organisations and is funded by Bristol Ageing Better.
North Bristol Advice Centre are working closely with Southmead Development Trust, Ambition Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth Community Centre and Shirehampton Community Action Forum to deliver the service across North Bristol http://www.northbristoladvice.org.uk/our-services/community-navigators-north