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Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is part of the Government's Welfare Reform agenda. It replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment. The benefits that Universal Credit replace are:

To find out more, see Universal Credit on GOV.UK

or contact the Universal Credit helpline on Freephone 0800 328 9344

Who can claim Universal Credit?

From 1 January 2018, customers living in the Eden District area were unable to make a new claim for Universal Credit. They were, instead, directed to apply for:

  • Housing Benefit;
  • Tax Credits;
  • Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Job Seekers' Allowance; or
  • Income Support.

This will continue until we transfer to the full Universal Credit Service on 25 July 2018.

Customers already in receipt of Universal Credit on 1 January 2018 are unaffected.

How to Claim Universal Credit

Apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK.

How is Universal Credit paid?

Anyone claiming Universal Credit receives one monthly payment in arrears. It is paid direct into a bank account. For payment details, see Universal Credit: how you're paid, on GOV.UK.

Any housing costs claimed as part of Universal Credit will be paid direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment. The claimant will be responsible for paying their landlord direct.

For guides which explain what Universal Credit means for landlords, see Universal Credit and landlords on GOV.UK.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and need help with paying Council Tax, you need to complete a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Claim Form (PDF: 280Kb / 23 pages).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will provide us with the information that 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

    If you have difficulty accessing a computer, or need support to complete the online form, you can contact the Benefits Team by

    1. Email:;

    2. Telephone: 01768 810066;

    3. Address: Town Hall, Corney Square, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF

  • 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;

      • Advice will be offered online, by telephone, or face-to-face;

      • Advice will be 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

If you have difficulty accessing a computer, or need support to complete the Universal Credit online form, you can contact the Benefits Team.

Public access computers are available at: