Get ready for Universal Credit

Get ready for Universal Credit

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Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces a number of existing benefits and tax credits.

  • Housing benefit

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance

  • Income-based employment and support allowance

  • Income support

  • Working tax credit

  • Child tax credit

From December 2017, if you make a new claim for one of these, you will have to claim Universal Credit. If you already get one of these benefits or tax credits, you won’t be affected unless your circumstances change.

What do I need to do to get ready?

  • You will need a bank, building society or credit union account so your monthly payment can be paid into it.

  • You will need internet access to make and manage your Universal Credit claim. You will also need an email address to verify your identity online.

  • It’s important to think about how you are going to budget as your monthly Universal Credit payment includes any help towards paying your rent, bills and other living costs.

How to apply

You can apply for Universal Credit online at

Help is at hand

Universal Credit is run by the Department of Work and Pensions. You will need to manage your claim online and may need to have regular meetings with a Jobcentre Plus adviser.

The council benefits team will also provide support to Universal Credit claimants:

  • Help to pay your council tax – council tax reduction is not included in Universal Credit and you will have to apply for this separately.

  • Help and advice if you are struggling to manage one monthly payment - if you would like help with budgeting or are struggling to pay your rent or bills we can help or find other support for you.

Contact us

Further information