Universal Credit is a monthly payment for working-age people who are on a low income or out of work.

It replaces the following benefits:

  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

What does it mean to me?

The biggest change is that you will receive one single monthly payment, including your housing cost. This means it’s your responsibility to pay your rent.

It is paid monthly, in arrears, direct to a bank account and must be managed online.

Universal Credit will not affect everybody straight away. The scheme is being gradually rolled out across the country. You can see whether Universal Credit is available in your area by entering your postcode on universalcreditinfo.net.

However, it is now being rolled out so that if you are making a new claim for one of the benefits listed above, you will instead be directed to make a claim for Universal Credit.

How do I prepare for Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, so you'll have to wait 1 month and 7 days before your first payment. Therefore it's a good idea to make extra payments on your rent accounts to build up a credit.

Open a bank account with a Direct Debit facility. You'll need a bank account to receive Universal Credit. Direct Debit enables you to pay your rent automatically each month.

View our guide

We still need to claim council tax through local authority as this is not included in Universal Credit.

Apply for Universal credit on Gov.UK

Apply now

Get help

If you're still unsure, get help and advice from our Money Advice Team

Email: moneyadvice@placesforpeople.co.uk

Tel: 01772 666446.