Last updated:

10th June 2024

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It is paid in arrears, as a single monthly payment for your household, into your bank account, building society or credit union account.

It is for people who are on a low income, out of work or cannot work. It replaces the following benefits:

  • Jobseekers Allowance (income-based JSA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

You will need to apply for Universal Credit instead of making a new claim for one of the benefits listed above. Universal Credit is managed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

If your payment includes housing costs to help with your rent, you will need to pay this to your landlord yourself.

If you are already getting any of the benefits listed above or tax credits, you do not need to do anything unless either:

  • Your circumstances change
  • You get a letter called a ‘Migration Notice’ telling you that you must claim Universal Credit

From April 2024, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is writing to some people who receive benefits to let them know that they need to claim Universal Credit instead. This letter is called a Migration Notice. See managed migration to Universal Credit for further information

If you have a change of circumstances that requires you to re-apply for benefits or tax credits you may have to apply for Universal Credit instead. 

Unless one of the following applies:

You will need to tell us if you want help paying your Council Tax. This is not included in Universal Credit and you will need to apply for Council Tax Reduction.

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