Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for those who are out of work or on a low income, and replaces 6 existing benefits for new claimants and existing claimants who have a change of circumstances:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

If you need to make a new claim for benefits, in most cases you should now apply for Universal Credit for support with housing costs. In some cases, this will also apply to existing claimants who report a change in circumstances.

If you're a tenant, your payment will include an amount for your rent payment - but remember that you are responsible for paying rent to your landlord.

Universal Credit is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Making a claim for Council Tax Support

Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax Support, which is administered by us, so you should make a separate claim for this.

If you pay council tax and you get Universal Credit, you'll need to claim Council Tax Support or pay your council tax in full.

Find out if you can claim Universal Credit

Check your eligibility and make an informed decision about how a claim would impact on your finances before making a claim for Universal Credit:

Do not delay in making your claim as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot backdate your claim except in exceptional circumstances.

If you're already claiming benefits, your Jobcentre Plus or Tax Credits office will tell you whether you should start claiming Universal Credit.

Making a claim for Universal Credit

Payments are made monthly in arrears directly into your bank account. If you don't already have one, read advice about getting a bank account (Citizens Advice).

Claim Universal Credit

Get help claiming Universal Credit.

Changes in circumstances for current benefit claimants

If you're currently receiving Housing Benefit, you'll continue receiving your payments in the usual way, but you should always let us know about a change in circumstances.

Some changes in circumstances will mean that you'll be able to claim Universal Credit rather than continue to receive Housing Benefit.

You may need to claim Universal Credit if any of the following apply to you:

  • you start a new job
  • you stop working or your working hours are reduced
  • you're 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're a lone parent and a child under 5 permanently leaves your household

Also see

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