Who can claim Universal Credit

If you’re thinking of claiming benefits for the first time, you might need to apply for Universal Credit, depending on where you live.

If you live in a 'full service' area

If you live in a 'full service' area, are on a low income or out of work and making a new claim for benefits (including housing costs), you must now do so through Universal Credit (UC).

Use the Citizens Advice eligibility checker to find out if UC has been rolled out in your area.

Exceptions: You will continue to get help through Housing Benefit if you have three or more children, live in supported accommodation or are of Pension Credit age.

Remember, you must still claim separately for Council Tax Support and Free School Meals as this is not included in your Universal Credit payment.

If you live in a 'live service' area

If you live in a 'live service' area you need to make a claim for a legacy benefit and housing benefit until your Job Centre Plus becomes a 'full service' area. 

If you’re not sure whether you should be claiming Universal Credit or existing benefits, use the Citizens Advice eligibility checker to see which elements have been rolled out in your area.

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