Apply for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single benefit that has been introduced to replace the current six-benefit system. 

It is designed to assist working-age individuals with low incomes, or those who are unemployed. This benefit aims to provide support for people to prepare for work, find employment, or increase their earnings.

If you have previously been receiving any of the following six benefits, you will stop receiving these and be moved over to Universal Credit:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support

This process is called Managed Migration. Find out more about Managed Migration and what to do if you have received a Migration Notice.

Who is eligible

You may be entitled to Universal Credit if you are:

  • on a low income
  • out of work
  • unable to work
  • not already in receipt of any benefits

You can use the following calculator to check whether you would be entitled to Universal Credit.

If you are still unsure you should seek advice from a benefits advisor at your local DWP office or Job Centre. You can also contact the Citizens Advice for money, debt advice and whether Universal Credit is right for you, by visiting their website or calling the Help to Claim line on 0800 144 8444.

How much you could receive

The amount you receive will depend on:

  • your (or your partner's) income and savings
  • your (or your partner's) age(s)
  • circumstances (such as children, a couple or single)
  • if you or your partner are incapable of work or a carer
  • if you have housing costs, like rent
  • your entitlement to a transitional amount

How Universal Credit is paid

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears. If you think that you will struggle while you are waiting for your first payment of Universal Credit, you can ask the DWP for a short-term advance.

You may be able to have your Universal Credit paid more frequently than monthly, or have it paid direct to your landlord.

How to apply for Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit on the government website.

In order to claim Universal Credit you will need to sign a claimant commitment when you make your first claiming. This is a signed record of what you agree to do whilst in receipt of Universal Credit.

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