What is Universal Credit and why was it introduced?
Universal Credit is a single, monthly payment to help you with your living costs.
It was introduced to simplify the welfare benefits system and replaced 6 working-age welfare benefits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
How can I claim?
The easiest and preferred way to make a claim is online, but you can make a claim over the phone by calling the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644.
Universal Credit payment may include your housing benefit, and it is for you to pay us, your landlord. You may be able to arrange for your housing benefit to be paid directly to us if you have difficulties managing your money.
Important points to note
- Your claim will take about 5 to 6 weeks to process
- You will have to use your own funds to pay your bills until your claim has been processed
- You can ask for an advance payment, but you will have to pay it back
- Some of your existing benefits may have to stop when you make a claim
- Your claim will not be backdated