Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly.
You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.
If you already get benefits
Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
If you currently receive any of these benefits, you cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.
Severe disability premium
You cannot claim Universal Credit if you either:
- are getting the severe disability premium
- got the severe disability premium within the last month and you’re still eligible for it
If you have a change of circumstances that affects the severe disability premium or your other benefits, report it and you’ll be told what to do next.
This short film gives an introduction to Universal Credit, including:
- how it helps to make work pay
- the support claimants get
- what’s expected in return
What do I have to do to pay my rent?
It will be your responsibility to make sure your rent is paid in full.
You must contact us if you are invited to claim for Universal Credit.
How can I prepare?
In preparation for the changes, you will need to
- Have a bank account – all payments will be made straight to your personal bank account. If you do not have an account, find the right one for you here
- Have internet access – all claims will be completed online. If you do not have access to the internet in your home, there are many public spaces you can access free Wi-Fi, or even use a free computer. Click here to find the nearest places to you
- Have a monthly budget – it is important that you plan your money in advance so you do not get into arrears with your rent and / or household bills. Check your detailed spending here
How do I apply?
To start your claim please visit the GOV.UK website.
What you need to apply
- your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one Telephone: 0800 328 5644, Textphone: 0800 328 1344)
- an email address
- information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay. Copies of your current rent statement can be found on My Tenancy. Or please contact us on 01206 244700
- details of your income, for example payslips
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card