What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit that supports working age people who are on a low incomes or out of work. In time it will replace the following six benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

If you're already receiving one of the six benefits above, you don't need to do anything, but if your circumstances change you may have to make a claim.

To check whether you're eligible to make a claim, visit the Universal Credit Postcode Checker. If after entering your postcode you're asked to sign in or register, this means you need to apply for Universal Credit.

If you wish to make a claim for help with rent payments, this is done by applying for Universal Credit, however you will need to apply for Housing Benefit if you:

The following short film gives an introduction to Universal Credit, including:

  • how it helps to make work pay
  • the support claimants get
  • what’s expected in return

How can I apply?

Before you start making a claim make sure you've got the following to hand:

  • your national insurance number
  • details of a bank, building society or credit union account into which your claim will be paid
  • your rent agreement (if you've got one)
  • details of any savings and other capital
  • details of any non-work income (for example income from an insurance plan)
  • details of any other benefits you already receive

To apply for Universal Credit, visit GOV.UK - Apply for Universal Credit.

Note: You will need access to the internet to apply. You may also need to make separate claims for housing costs and also Council Tax Reduction.

How we can help

We can help you to make a claim by providing supported access at Phoenix House. Free access to computer facilities and the internet is available with staff to help you make a claim, see Contact details and opening hours.

Universal Credit information for landlords

If you’re a landlord and your tenants are in receipt of Housing Benefit, you can help prepare them for their move to Universal Credit by visiting GOV.UK and reading the Universal Credit and rented housing guide for landlords.

The Money Advice Service has also created an information page for landlords which you may find useful.

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