Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly benefit for people aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17). It is for people out of work, or on a low income. Universal Credit is one payment, and has replaced the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Claims for Universal Credit can only be backdated in exceptional circumstances, and are limited to a maximum of 1 month. So, you should claim Universal Credit as soon as you become eligible.


Universal Credit is made up of:

  • Standard Allowance (the amount for you and your partner to live on)
  • Housing Costs Element (the amount of support towards your rent)
  • Child Element (for any dependent children)
  • Carer Element (if you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance for looking after a disabled person)
  • Child Care Costs Element
  • Disabled Child Addition (if you have dependent children that receive disability benefits)
  • Work Capability Element (if you are unable to work due to ill health)

Universal Credit payments include housing costs for your rent, which means it is your responsibility to make payments into your rent account.

Universal Credit is paid monthly and in arrears. You should receive your first payment within 6 weeks of making a claim, and then on the same date every month.

You can manage your Universal Credit account online. If you would like any advice or assistance on claiming Universal Credit, please contact your Housing Officer.

Visit these websites for more information about Universal Credit, and to make a claim.