Universal Credit helps people who are on a low income or out of work with their living costs. It brings together 6 benefits and tax credits and replaces them with a single monthly payment.
Universal Credit is administered by the Department of Work and Pensions and you need to apply for it online.
Universal Credit replaces the following benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
If you currently get any of these benefits, you’ll continue to receive them until:
- you’ve a change of circumstances you need to report
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts you about moving to Universal Credit - see below.
Voluntary move to Universal Credit
If you have been asked by the Department for Work and Pensions to switch from legacy benefits to Universal Credit, you may wish to seek independent advice on whether you will be financially better off. You can also check online using the benefit calculator at Turn 2 Us
Discretionary Housing Payment
If your Universal Credit payment is not enough to pay your rent, you may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). We assess every case individually by looking at the finances and personal circumstances of the person making the claim.
Council Tax support
If you apply for Universal Credit you’ll need to make an application for Council Tax support separately through the council.