Universal credit

Universal Credit replaces six benefits and merges them into one monthly payment made in arrears.  This is usually made five to six weeks after an initial claim is made.

The six previous benefits covered are:

  • Income Support;
  • Income based;
  • Jobseeker's Allowance;
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits; and
  • Housing Benefits.

How do I claim?

Most claims for are made online.  Click here to find out more.  Below is the information you'll need to complete your claim, plus some useful video clips to give you further information about Universal Credit and how to apply.

Your Personal Information

  • Your email address - don't worry if you don't have one - assistance can be provided to help you get one set up.
  • Your phone number.
  • National Insurance Number - you won't need this for your initial claim but you may need this later on in the Universal Credit process so it's helpful to have this handy.

Your Housing Information

  • Your current address.
  • Your Landlord's address.
  • How much rent you are currently paying.

Your Financial Information

  • Bank details - you won't need this for the initial application but you will need this to be able to receive payments so make sure you can easily get hold of your bank account details.
  • Details of any savings that you have.
  • Salary details and any other forms of income will all be needed to apply.

How is Universal Credit paid?

Payments will normally be made once a month in arrears to replicate a working wage. Claimants must set up a bank account to receive their Universal Credit payments.  If you live with your partner and both claim Universal Credit, you'll receive a single payment that covers you both.

Working while you claim Universal Credit

There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you receive Universal Credit.  Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more and you won't lose all your benefits at once if you're on a low income.

How does this affect people of pension age?

You won't be able to claim Universal Credit if both you and your partner are over Pension Credit age.  You’ll need to claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit instead.

Universal Credit - quick overview

The video below gives you a quick overview of what Universal Credit is.  You can also view the second, more detailed version, which shows you how to claim.    

A more detailed explanation