Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit rolled out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), through your local Jobcentre Plus. It is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income and will replace six existing benefits.
What will Universal Credit be replacing?
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related Employment and support allowance
- Income support
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Housing benefit.
How will it be different?
Universal credit is claimed online. Payments are made monthly directly into your bank, building society or Post Office account. It also includes an amount for your housing costs (rent payment). You are responsible for paying rent to your landlord. If you do not have a bank account, you will need to set one up before you claim.
If you need help to pay your council tax, you could get council tax support information on the following link:
When will it affect me?
Roll-out of the Universal Credit Full Digital Service began in Leicester on Wednesday 13 June 2018.
If you are already claiming and receiving benefits, such as Housing Benefit, don’t need to do anything – your benefits will continue as usual for now.
Currently this will only change if you have a change in your circumstances, which means you need to make a new claim for one of these benefits. In this instance you may need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
Important notice to all 'UC Live' customers
From 22 August 2018 the DWP will start to contact people in receipt of UC (Live service) to request them to apply for UC under the Full (Digital) Service.
Between August and November 2018 UC Live claimants will be sent a letter by the DWP telling them to make a new claim. This new claim will have to be made by the date as indicated in the letter. Failure to complete the form and provide any supporting evidence required, by the date given could result in an award ending and payments being stopped.
We can provide digital support to help people to prepare for this change - see our Universal Support page.
Find out more on GOV.UK
To find out more information on Universal Credit, including if you're eligible, how to claim and how you will be paid go to the GOV.UK - Universal Credit page.
There is also a guidance booklet (PDF) available on GOV.UK which covers, your commitment, payments, sanctions, searching for full-time work, self-employment, childcare costs and housing.
How do I apply for advance payment while my UC claim is being processed?
If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you are waiting for your first monthly UC payment, you can ask for an advance payment. This will have to be paid back over the first 12 months of your UC claim. You can apply for an advance payment as soon as you have claimed UC, by speaking to your Jobcentre Plus work coach.
Change of circumstances
If you want to report any changes in your circumstances regarding your Universal Credit claim, call the UC helpline on 0800 328 9344 (Textphone: 0800 328 1344). Calls are free and it is possible to call and ask them to call you back. If you are currently receiving council tax support, you will need to inform us of any changes in circumstances. From the 13 June 2018, you can tell the DWP about any change in your circumstances using your online journal.
I am a landlord - what do I need to know?
Find out what you can do to help your tenants prepare for Universal Credit. Read the Universal Credit and rented housing guide on the GOV.UK website.
Information and advice elsewhere