Universal credit - what is it and how do I claim?

Universal Credit (UC) replaces six existing benefits and merges them into one monthly payment that will be made in arrears, usually five to six weeks after an initial claim is made.

The six benefits that are being replaced are:

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

How do I claim?

Most claims for UC are made online by visiting the GOV.UK website. Below is the information you will need to hand 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

Universal Credit - quick overview

The video below gives you a quick overview of what Universal Credit is (approx 1 minute 30 secs).  You can also view the second, more detailed version which shows you how to claim.    

Full service overview - approx 12 minutes long