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Universal credit

What is Universal Credit

Universal Credit will replace a range of benefits for working age people.  Whether you claim Universal Credit will depend on your personal circumstances. Anyone who makes a claim for one of the means tested benefits that Universal Credit is replacing will now be asked to claim Universal Credit.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for administering Universal Credit.

Apply for universal credit

Sign in if you already have an online account and want to return to a claim

New claims for Universal Credit will take effect from 25 October 2017.  Families with up two children will no longer be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and Tax Credits.   

If you have three or more children and are in receipt of Housing Benefit and one of the benefits listed below you will continue to receive these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax credit

Universal Credit (UC) replaces six existing benefits with a single monthly payment for people who are out of work or on a low income and making a new claim.

Universal Credit aims to:

  • Improve claimant’s incentive to work
  • Make it easier for them to move in and out of work
  • Be easier to understand than the existing benefits system
  • Reduce poverty among those on low incomes
  • Process changes of circumstance in real time and reduce error

The main difference is that Universal Credit is paid in only one monthly payment and claimants are then responsible for budgeting throughout the month and paying bills – including rent.

Last updated Wednesday, 6th December 2023

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