What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is part of the Government's Welfare Reform policy. It replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment. The benefits that Universal Credit replace are:
Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) GOV.UK.
See Universal Credit on GOV.UK to find out more.
Who can claim Universal Credit?
From 25 July 2018, we transferred to the full Universal Credit Service. We can no longer accept claims for Housing Benefit from working age claimants unless they are:
- living in certain types of specified/supported accommodation; or
- living in temporary accommodation.
If you need help to pay your housing costs, you must make a claim for Universal Credit online on GOV.UK.
Freephone 0800 328 5644 if you have any questions about claiming Universal Credit, please contact the Universal Credit helpline.
Customers already in receipt of Universal Credit before 25 July 2018, who have any questions about their claim, should ring the Universal Credit helpline on Freephone 0800 328 9344.
You will still need to apply for Council Tax Reduction.
How to claim Universal Credit
Apply for Universal Credit online on GOV.UK and check to see if you are eligible.
Payment of Universal Credit
See How you get paid Universal Credit on GOV.UK for payment details. Anyone claiming Universal Credit receives one monthly payment in arrears. Payment is direct into a bank account.
The claimant receives payment of any housing costs claimed as part of Universal Credits as part of their monthly payment. The claimant is responsible for paying their landlord direct.
See Universal Credit and landlords on GOV.UK for guides which explain what Universal Credit means for landlords.
Council tax reduction scheme
Complete a 'Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Universal Credit) Claim Form' (PDF: 197Kb / 8 pages) if you are in receipt of Universal Credit and need help with paying Council Tax.
The Department for Work and Pensions provide us with the information they have gathered from the claim for Universal Claim.
How we will support you
The Government recognises that there are customers who need help to claim Universal Credit and report change of circumstances online. The DWP will work with us and their partners to provide the support to manage this process by:
Support with online access
Contact the Benefits Team on the details below if you have difficulty accessing a computer, or need support to complete the online form.
Personal budgeting support
There are two elements to budgeting support:
- Money advice:
- To help claimants cope with managing their money on a monthly basis and paying their bills on time;
- Online, by telephone, or face-to-face;
- Delivered by external organisations with the relevant expertise to do this.
- Alternative payment arrangements
- For those claimants who cannot manage the single monthly payment and there is a risk of financial harm to the claimant and/or their family.
Help to make an online application
Contact the Benefits Team if you have difficulty accessing a computer, or need support to complete the Universal Credit online form.
For details of public access computers see: