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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people (aged 16 – 65). You may qualify for Universal Credit even if you’re working.

Many people receive Universal Credit instead of other benefits such as:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support.

If you’re of working age and on one of these benefits instead, you may move to Universal Credit eventually.

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.

How can I claim Universal Credit?

If you have access to the internet, you can claim online.

If you’re not able to make an online claim, ring Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644 or Citizens Advice Help to Claim service on 0800 144 8444

Don’t delay making your claim – in most cases it can’t be backdated.

What’s different about Universal Credit?

  • You can claim Universal Credit if you are out of work or 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 to look for work;
  • 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;
  • Your Universal Credit may be reduced if you are considered to be under-occupying your property.

It is your responsibility to pay Together Housing any rent that is not covered by Universal Credit.

If you’re struggling to pay the shortfall in the rent, you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). This is an extra payment from your local council to help pay your rent. It’s up to the Council to decide if you’re eligible based on the information you provide.

For more information and advice, visit the Government website.

You can also text UC HELP to 66099 and one of our friendly Welfare Benefits Advisors will contact you.

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