Skip to main content

What is Universal Credit?

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people (aged 16 – 65).

It aims to make the benefits system simpler by replacing some existing benefits and tax credits. Universal Credit will eventually replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Income Support

If you’re on Universal Credit, you can still claim other benefits you are eligible for. These include:

  • Council Tax Reduction to help pay your council tax. You need to claim this from your local council.
  • Child Benefit if you have children.
  • Personal Independence Payment if you are disabled or have long-term sickness.

What’s different about Universal Credit?

You can claim Universal Credit if you are out of work or are working and on a low income. This means your Universal Credit carries on if you move in and out of work, as long as your income is low enough.

  • You’ll have to accept a ‘claimant commitment’, an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks.
  • You have to claim online.
  • It is paid in a lump sum each month into your bank, building society or credit union account.
  • It includes amounts for daily living costs and for your rent.
  • This means you will need to pay your rent direct to us each month from your Universal Credit payment.