Get ready for Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a big change from any benefits or tax credits you may get now, and you will need to be ready to manage your claim differently. You will need to:
Get a bank account
You'll need a bank, building society or credit union account that your monthly payment can be paid into.
You'll need internet access and to make and manage your Universal Credit claim online. You will also need an email address and verify your identity online.
Your monthly Universal Credit payment will include any help you get towards paying your rent. You will need to budget so you can pay your rent, your bills and your other living costs for the whole month.
You will also need to tell us if you want help paying your council tax, this is not included in Universal Credit and you will need to apply for Council Tax Support separately.
The following provide budgeting advice:
- The DWP's Universal Credit planner
- The Money Advice Service money manager tool
- Your local Citizens Advice.
Know your rent
To avoid delays in payment, you will need to tell the DWP how much your rent is when you first claim Universal Credit and if your rent increases or decreases during your claim.
If you are a private tenant, your rent should be in your tenancy agreement or in any rent increase notice you get from your landlord.
If you are a housing association tenant, you will need to check your rent statement or ask your landlord what your rent is before you claim Universal Credit.