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 Gov.uk eligibililty checker.
If you are working age and wish to make a claim for help with rent payments, you will ned to apply for Universal Credit, however you will need to apply for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:
- live in supported accommodation; or
- you are homeless and the council has placed you in temporary accommodation; or
- you are entitled to a benefit with a severe disability premium, or have been in the last month and continue to be eligibile; or
- you and your partner are state pension age; or
- you are part of a couple, one of you has reached state pension age and you were claiming Hoising Benefit or Pension Credit (as a couple) before 15th May 2019.
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
You can call the help to claim service run by Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8 444 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Visit Citizens Advice for details.
Mid Devon District Council can help you to make a claim by providing free access to computer facilities and the internet. Staff are on hand to help get you started if required. 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.