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Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:

  • Income Support
  • Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • ​Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit

You will get all your benefits in a lump sum every month. If you get help towards your housing costs you will receive this too, instead of your landlord. You will then need to pay your rent.

Does it affect me?

If you already get any of the benefits above, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be in touch with you before there are any changes to your benefits or tax credits.

If you received housing benefit on 12th June 2018 or before, we will continue to pay your housing benefit until your circumstances change. Some changes may mean we need to end your housing benefit claim so that you can claim Universal Credit instead. We will always let you know if this is the case.

Housing benefit or Universal Credit?

You will need to claim Universal Credit unless:

  • you or your partner are of pension age
  • you have three or more children that you are responsible for
  • you live in supported accommodation, rented from a housing association or registered charity
  • you have been placed in temporary accommodation

If you are still unsure, please use the online calculator to check. If you don't, you could miss out on money that you are entitled to.

If you find that you need to claim housing benefit, visit our 'Apply for Benefit' page for more information on how to do this.

Do I still need to apply for help with council tax costs?

Yes, you will need to claim council tax reduction from the council as this is not included in your Universal Credit payment.

Find out more and make a claim

Need help?

If you need help with Universal Credit please contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

Your local job centre will be able to advise you on Universal Credit too.