Universal Credit is a new benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It applies to people of working age to state pension age and aims to simplify the benefit system. Universal Credit will replace six benefits and tax credits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Find out more about Universal Credit.
If you are already claiming at least one of the benefits being replaced, DWP will contact you to tell you when you need to apply for Universal Credit.
Preparing for Universal Credit
Before you make a claim for Universal Credit it is important that you do a few things:
Set up a bank, building society or credit union account that can receive automated payments.
You won’t be able to receive your money without an account. If you are claiming as a couple you can choose to have your Universal Credit paid into a joint or single account.
Make sure you can get online, and you have an email address.
You will need regular internet access to apply for Universal Credit and maintain your claim.
Think about how you are going to manage your money.
If you’re used to budgeting weekly or fortnightly, you may need to think differently to make sure you have enough money to last you the full month.
Watch a short video about Universal Credit
Helping you understand Universal Credit
This guide has been put together by people that have been in the same situation as you are in now. We hope it will help you apply for and manage your Universal Credit claim, avoiding some of the usual headaches and pitfalls.