Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit that replaces the following six benefits:
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit (UC) is paid directly to the person claiming benefit and includes housing costs. It is normally paid monthly in arrears. If you receive UC you will normally be responsible for paying your own rent. Find out more about UC on the GOV.UK website.
Freephone: 0800 328 9344
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Use our free online UC Helper
If you're an organisation interested in creating your own version on the UC Helper, see more information here.
Universal Credit is now available everywhere in Great Britain.
You can claim if you are below Pension Credit age and:
- You need to claim benefits for the first time
- You have a change in circumstances that means your existing benefits cannot continue
Don’t forget you still need to claim Council Tax Support if you claim UC.
If you are looking at UC housing costs and you have previously had a Housing Benefit claim, you may be able to reopen your old claim. Please speak to a member of our Income team to check.
Our Welfare Benefits team can also work with you to look at all your options if you can’t claim UC.
Get the right bank account
Universal Credit is paid monthly into your chosen bank or building society account.
If you don’t have one you'll need to open an account. For more information on how to do this visit the Citizens Advice website.
You will need access to the internet and an email address to apply for and manage your account online.
Need help getting online? Please visit our Getting online page
Once online you will need to:
- Fill out all the fields on your online account
- Use the online journal to keep notes and records of your actions
- Keep your work capability assessments up to date
- Always update your details if your circumstances change
Applying for Universal Credit for the first time? We've got just the tool to help
- Applying for UC for the first time can seem overwhelming. Our free UC Helper is designed to help and support you.
- Developed with customers and our frontline staff, the UC Helper explains step by step how to create an online UC account, how to make a claim and how to verify your identity. It even explains what to expect when attending an interview.
- There’s a checklist to track your progress, plus tips for each stage. It’s mobile-friendly, although it works just as well on a laptop or desktop PC.
Ask for help
If you're struggling with your UC application, have had sanctions* applied, cannot pay your rent whilst waiting for a claim to be awarded, or would simply like to talk through the process with someone, please contact our Income team.
*A sanction is a reduction of your UC benefit amount. It can vary in length and time.