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Universal credit

Universal Credit was introduced by the Government to simplify the current benefit system, bringing together a range of working age benefits into one single streamlined payment.

Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will replace six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the UK. The new system is based on a single monthly payment, transferred directly into a bank account.

The benefits it has replaced include:

  • Job Seekers Allowance

  • Employment and Support Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit

  • Housing Benefit

Single applicants currently claiming JSA will be affected first, followed by those claiming all other benefits affected, including couples and families. Everyone will have moved over to Universal Credit by 2019/2020.

What do I need to do to be ready?

Step 1 - Open a bank account

To receive your Universal Credit payment you will need to have a bank account that can receive automated payments.

Step 2 - Get online

All claims for Universal Credit will need to be made online. You will need to have access to the internet as well as an active email address.

Step 3 - Get budgeting

Universal Credit will be paid monthly so if you are used to managing your money weekly or fortnightly you will have to start managing your money across the whole month. The first payment of Universal Credit will be paid to you in arrears. This means you will have to go a whole month without benefits before you get your first payment. Think about how you are going to manage through this period of time.

How do I get Universal Credit?

Universal Credit will be paid in one single monthly payment in arrears to you, directly into your bank or building society account. You will be responsible for managing this money and paying your bills.

Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment. It is then your responsibility to pay your rent to us.

You can claim UC by visiting