Will the benefit cap affect me?
The government’s new benefit cap will limit the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. It will start from 7th November 2016. Find out more
What is it?
Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:
- Income Support.
- Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance.
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
- Housing Benefit.
- Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit.
Help with housing costs
Any help you get with your rent will be included in your UC payment and you will be responsible for paying your landlord. In some circumstances payments can be made direct to the landlord, for example, when there are rent arrears or threat of eviction or you find it difficult to manage payments.
Am I eligible?
Existing benefit claimants
If you're already claiming any benefits you don't need to do anything. You'll be told when UC will affect you.
New benefit claimants
If you are making a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. To claim UC you must:
- Be of working age and fit for work.
- Not be waiting to hear about a claim or an appeal for Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit.
How to claim
Accessing the internet
Don't have access?
If you don't have internet access at home you can get free access at these venues.
Never used the internet before?
If you don't know how to use the internet or need extra support to get online there are advisors on hand at these venues.
Universal Credit will be paid monthly to one person in the household. In some cases, the DWP may split payments (e.g. if your partner's spending has caused money problems). You can get full details on Gov.uk.
Help with rent will be included with your UC payment so you can pay your landlord.
Need help and support with your claim?
Your local job centre will be able to advise you on Universal Credit, payments and budgeting support. If you find it difficult to manage this new monthly payment please speak to your work coach.
If you need financial help before your UC payment is due and meet certain conditions, you can ask for an advanced payment. Please note that future payments will be reduced to pay for this advance.
Universal Credit Helpline: 0345 600 0723
Help with Council Tax
Help with Council Tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. The Department for Work and Pensions will no longer accept a claim for Council Tax Support at the same time as you claim UC.
You must apply for Council Tax Support through the council's Benefits Service, and provide any evidence needed to support your claim. If you don't send your Council Tax Support claim to us when you apply for Universal Credit you may lose benefit.