Universal Credit is due to be rolled out in full across the borough.

Redbridge Council has announced it will start offering the full digital service from Wednesday June 20 this year.

Universal Credit will eventually replace housing benefit, child tax credit, income support, jobseekers’ allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and working tax credit as one lump-sum payment.

Once they have applied for Universal Credit online, those who currently receive any or all of the above mentioned benefits will instead receive a monthly payment directly into their bank account.

Those receiving Universal Credit will then become solely responsible for paying their rent to their landlord and budgeting for other expenses.

In certain circumstances, arrangements can be made for rent to be paid directly to landlords rather than to tenants.

Because Universal Credit can only be applied for online, the council is encouraging people who don’t have internet access at home to visit their local library; where they can use computers for free and get help with completing the online form.

Those living in some E11, E12 and E18 postcodes will not be able to claim Universal Credit until July 24 2018.

Those of pension age or people who have three or more children do not have to claim for Universal Credit and those living in temporary or supported accommodation will continue to receive housing benefit for their rent.

Cllr Kam Rai, deputy council leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “We know the government’s decision to introduce the contentious Universal Credit programme will risk placing many of our more vulnerable residents into poverty, leaving them unable to pay rent or put dinner on the table, and face debt and eviction.

“We have been working hard, along with our partners to do what we can as a local authority and ensure our residents have the necessary support at hand to guide them through the process.

“We will also keep pressure on the government to review this policy decision.”

The council is encouraging people to speak initially with their job centre work coach for help with budgeting. Coaches will then refer residents to the council for additional support.

The advice is to get in touch with your landlord straight away if you are having trouble paying rent.

How will you be affected by Universal Credit? Email alice.richardson@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Visit www.redbridge.gov.uk/benefits/universal-credit for more information.