About Universal Credit
You could get Universal Credit if you:
- live in the UK
- are out of work or on a low income
- are aged 18 or over
- have less than £16,000 in savings
16 and 17 year olds can claim Universal Credit if they're pregnant, have a child or have no parental support.
Because Universal Credit has replaced some of the old benefit systems you can claim for most of your circumstances all in one place.
Universal Credit replaces:
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Make a claim for Universal Credit
Applications for Universal Credit must be made online. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can book a computer at the Youth Employment Hub to make your claim.
Universal Credit must be paid into a bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, the Money Advice Service has information about how to open a bank account.
It takes 5 weeks from the date of your application to receive your first Universal Credit payment.
If you have questions about your existing Universal Credit claim, you can speak to your Work Coach or phone 0800 328 5644.
Other benefit options
There are some circumstances where you may have to claim a different type of benefit.
If you live in Temporary Accommodation, Supported Accommodation or Emergency Accommodation
If you are living in accommodation such as a hostel, a hotel or The Foyer you should claim your housing costs from Housing Benefit.
If you have savings over £16,000 or have a partner who is working
You may want to claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance.
If you live in a Private Rented, Social Rented or Housing Association property
You can make a claim for your housing costs on your Universal Credit claim. Your housing costs will be paid to you and you must pay your landlord, unless you agree otherwise.
If you have children
You can claim for a child element of Universal Credit.
If you are working, but on a low income, you can claim for some of your childcare costs on Universal Credit.
If you have caring responsibilities
If you are caring for someone who is disabled for more than 35 hours a week, you can claim a Carer’s element of Universal Credit.
If you have a health condition
If you are unable to work due to a health condition, Universal Credit can refer you for a Work Capability Assessment to see if you are eligible for the disability element.
For more information or if you are looking for a benefit that is not listed visit Citizens Advice.