Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age. It replaces a number of existing benefits.
Universal Credit Full Service replaces any NEW claims for:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support (IS)
- Income-based job seekers allowance (JSA)
- Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
How to claim Universal Credit
Claims for Universal Credit Full Service must be made online. You will need to create an online account to make and manage your claim. You can use this account to report any changes of circumstance, send messages to your work coach and find support.
Once you’ve created your digital account and submitted your claim, you will be asked to ring Universal Credit and arrange an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus, this is to verify your ID and address.
Help towards your rent
Universal Credit provides a single payment each month into your bank account. The payment can include a ‘housing costs’ (rent) element if you:
- Are not in paid work or have a low income
If you live in a shared ownership property, housing costs could help with both your rent and mortgage interest.
You won’t be entitled to any money until the 8th day after you make your claim.
You will not receive any payment until 6 weeks after your claim because Universal Credit is paid in arrears.
If this will cause rent arrears or hardship you can apply for a Short Term Advance. The maximum advance you can get is 50% of your estimated monthly payment. You must pay this back over 6 months. It is deducted from your future monthly payments.
If you find it hard to budget on a monthly income or fall into rent arrears, you can ask for your housing costs to be paid directly to us.
Housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds
You may not be able to get help to pay your rent if you are under 22 and make a new claim for Universal Credit after February 2017.
You will not be affected by this rule if before this date:
- You already got Universal Credit housing costs or housing benefit
If you do make a new claim for Universal Credit you can get help to pay rent if:
- You claim as a couple
- Have a dependent child
- Were in care when you were 16 or 17
- Get the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or middle or high care component of Disability Living Allowance
- You may also get rent help if you’re unable to live with either of your parents because you’re at risk of harm.
- You are subject to Alternative Payment Arrangement
- You live in temporary accommodation
- You are experiencing or threatened by Domestic Abuse
- You don’t fall within “all work requirements” conditionality group eg; carer, pregnant, mental or physical impairment