Universal Credit with support for housing costs will apply to most new claimants, and in some cases to existing claimants who have a change in their circumstances.
Universal Credit is part of the government’s Welfare Reform and is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income and replaces six existing benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
If you are already claiming benefits your Jobcentre Plus or Tax Credits office will tell you when you have to move to Universal Credit.
It does not replace Council Tax Support, which is administered by us, so a separate claim must be made for that. If you pay Council Tax and you get Universal Credit you will need to claim Council Tax Support or pay your Council Tax in full.
Universal Credit is claimed online. Payments are made monthly in arrears directly into your account. If you are a tenant it also includes an amount for your housing costs (rent payment). You are responsible for paying rent to your landlord.
Find out if you can claim for Universal Credit
To find out if you are eligible to claim Universal Credit please see the DWP‘s Universal Credit eligibility criteria.
Do not delay in making your claim as the DWP cannot backdate your claim except in exceptional circumstances.
Changes in circumstances for current claimants
If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit you will continue to receive your payments in the usual way.
You should let us know if your circumstances change.
Some changes in circumstances will mean that you can claim Universal Credit rather than continue to receive Housing Benefit.
You may need to claim Universal Credit through the DWP if any of the following apply to you:
- you start a new job
- you stop working or your working hours are reduced
- you are signed off sick
- you become a jobseeker after a period of sickness
- your household becomes responsible for a child for the first time
- you and your partner separate
- you are a lone parent and a child under 5 permanently leaves your household
Further support with Universal Credit claims is available.
Universal Credit customer survey
We want to find out about your experience of claiming Universal Credit so we can help make positive changes.
Upon completion of the survey, you will be entered into a free prize draw to win a £10 voucher. You may submit one entry per household per month to be entered into the monthly free prize draw.
The survey and free prize draw close on 31 July 2018.