Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new single payment benefit, which replaces a number of previous benefits.

New Jobseekers' Allowance applicants, will now need to apply for Universal Credit instead.

Universal Credit applications can only be made online.

What it is

Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will eventually replace the following benefits for new applicants:

  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income related Jobseekers' Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance

You can visit Universal Credit for a detailed step-by-step guide to Universal Credit.

Who will be affected

The new benefit will be introduced in stages. From 2 November 2015, Universal Credit will affect the following people only:

  • New claims from single people and with no dependent children (who would be Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants)

You do not need to do anything if you are already claiming benefits, but this may change in the future. If your situation changes you will be notified by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who will explain any changes.

How it works

Claiming Universal Credit is different to claiming other benefits. The key differences mean:

  • Claims can only be made online - there are no paper applications
  • Payments are made monthly - similar to a salary
  • Payments are made direct into your bank account

To apply

To apply for Universal Credit you must first:

  • Check your eligibility - you will need certain personal information before you can complete an online application

Getting advice

Updated: 14 October 2020