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What is Universal Credit?

The Government continues to replace a number of benefits to make the benefit system simpler and improve the incentives for work. Only one claim needs to be made and only one payment will be made. Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country, and there will be claims in our area soon.The payments will be made monthly in arrears so it is important that you budget for your money to last the whole month.

Claiming Universal Credit is different to the way you currently claim benefits. You will be expected to apply online via the internet and manage your claim through an online account.

There is a list of frequently asked questions about Universal Credit here

Claims will be administered by the Department of Work and Pensions at a central location rather than by your local council, Job Centre Plus and benefits agency.

If you are on a low income, you can still be paid Universal Credit when you first start a new job or increase your part-time hours.

You will receive one monthly payment, paid into your bank account in the same way as a monthly salary. This payment will be made in arrears. Universal Credit will replace these existing benefits: 

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credits
  • Working tax credits
  • Housing benefit

Claims for existing benefits and credits are being phased out. If you currently claim any of the benefits listed above, at some point your claim will be transferred over to Universal Credit, the housing benefit part of which will be paid to you. We don't know the date yet, but we will let you know as soon as we do.

Once you start to claim Universal Credit, we will no longer receive housing benefit direct from the local authority on your behalf.

You will be responsible for paying your rent and service charges to us. Your tenancy agreement says that you have to pay your rent in advance and once you are transferred to Universal Credit, you will need to make sure that it is paid on time. There are lots of ways that you can pay, but the easiest way to pay is to set up a direct debit. Click here to see the different ways to pay.

If you have more questions about Universal Credit, go to our Help page to see if the answer is there. Alternatively, you can call us on 01932 235 830 or email us at