Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is slowly replacing several older benefits. You may be able to claim it if you’re not currently working, or on a low income.

Universal Credit is a new working age benefit to help with your living costs, you may be able to claim it if you’re out of work, or on a low income.

Universal Credit is gradually replacing the following benefits:

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

As a result, this means that income-based ESA is gradually being phased out.

How to apply for Universal Credit

Most people should apply online for Universal Credit here, if you need to make a new claim. If you are unable to use a computer, you can contact the Universal Credit helpline in order to start your claim:

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
  • Textphone: 0800 328 1344

Remember to have all your information ready when you go to make your claim.

If you need help making your claim, you can either ask someone temporarily to help you, or nominate an appointee. You can find more information

You may need to attend an interview at your jobcentre with a workcoach as part of the application process.

If you have a disability or long-term health condition that prevents you from working, you may also be required to attend a Work Capability Assessment as you may be eligible for extra money.

You should receive your first payment 5 weeks after making your claim. You’ll receive one monthly payment for the household, and you’ll get a monthly statement to confirm how much you receive.

If you need money to cover your bills or other costs before then, you can apply for an Advanced Payment. Remember, this is a loan and you will be responsible for paying this back.

What if I’m still claiming ‘old’ benefits?

If you are currently still claiming the benefits that Universal Credit is replacing, you should continue to claim those. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you to tell you when you need to make a claim to Universal Credit. This is called ‘managed migration’.

You should not try to move yourself across to Universal Credit.

If you have a change in circumstance, you still have an obligation to inform the DWP, and this may mean that you have to make a new claim to Universal Credit.  

Get in touch

Get in touch for information and advice about welfare benefits

Contact Us