Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit replacing  6 existing benefits:
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Income Support
• Child Tax Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• Housing Benefit

It is a means-tested benefit for people of working age and it will be paid as a single monthly payment. It is not specifically an ‘in work’ or ‘out of work’ benefit. It is one credit for people whatever their employment status. All claims have to be made and managed online.

The government are introducing some changes to Universal Credit which they announced in the Autumn Budget 2017 - click here for the update.

We also have a quick fact guide with tips here and a list of Universal Credit & DWP Freephone numbers.

You can download the latest timetable from the government website. 

The programme detailed above will be for new claims to benefits and some changes of circumstances only. When you notify The Department for Work and Pensions of any changes they will let you know if your existing claim will be stopped and if you should make a claim for Universal Credit. 

If you live with your partner or have responsibility for 2 or fewer children, you will only be able to claim Universal Credit if you live in a jobcentre area listed here.

If you have more than 2 children, you are still entitled to claim other benefits. Find out about more about this here.

The migration of claimants receiving existing benefits begins in June 2019 with an estimated completion date of March 2022. 

You can also contact your local council or jobcentre plus to find out if you are affected, or simply enter your postcode here.   

See this video for an introduction to Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions:


If you are affected, you will need to prepare for some changes to the way you apply for and receive your benefits.

You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming any benefits - you’ll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.

How to make a claim for Universal Credit

To make your claim you will need to complete an online form and have a bank account for benefits to be paid into directly. 

If you don't have internet access at home, you may be able to access a computer at a Council office, Job Centre, Community Centre or Library. The online form must be completed and submitted in one go (currently it cannot be saved for later), so make sure you have all your details to hand.

See this government video for an overview of Universal Credit full service:


Paying your rent

Under Universal Credit, your housing costs (help with your rent known as Housing Benefit) will be paid directly to you as part of your Universal Credit award. This means YOU will be responsible for using this money to pay your monthly rent charge and service charge/s.

For most of our tenants who receive Housing Benefit, this will be a change to how your rent (or at least part of your rent) is normally paid. It is therefore important you are aware of the different methods you can use to pay your rent. This is something we will be happy to discuss with you – please contact your area housing manager or Hastoe Hub on 0300 123 2250.

Click here to find out how ready you are for Universal Credit and take a look at the Universal Credit & You document to help you prepare. The Universal Credit Calculator will show your entitlement to Universal Credit, and other benefits that you may be able to claim, whether in or out of work. Please note this will be an estimate based on the information you enter.

For more detailed information you can visit the sites listed below - the links will take you to the Universal Credit pages:

Citizens Advice


Money Advice Service



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