Universal Credit

Universal Credit logo.

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment to help with your living costs. It's issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and was fully introduced in the borough in August 2018.

How much Universal Credit you get depends on your earnings. Your payments reduce gradually as you earn more. There's no limit to how many hours you can work.

Time to move to Universal Credit

From April 2024, if you get one of these combinations of benefits DWP will end your current benefits and invite you to claim Universal Credit:

  • Housing Benefit with Income Support (including if you get Child Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit with Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit with Jobseekers Allowance (including if you get Child Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit only
  • Employment and Support Allowance with Child Tax Credit (including if you get Housing Benefit)
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit if you or your partner are of pension age

If you’re in one of these groups you’ll get a ‘migration notice’ letter from DWP. Follow the instructions on the letter to make your claim for Universal Credit. If you don’t make your claim by the deadline given in the letter you could lose your benefit.

If you get Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance (or just Employment and Support Allowance) and don’t get Child Tax Credit, you’ll be able to keep getting your current benefits until 2028.

Help with making your claim

If you need any help with making your claim, you can:

Apply for Universal Credit

You have to apply for Universal Credit online. There are no paper copies of the form.

  1. Check your eligibility and apply for Universal Credit online using the link below.
  2. You may need details of your housing costs, savings and income, including benefits and information about people who live with you.
  3. You might need to book an appointment at your local Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told if you need to after you apply. If you do, you'll need to make the appointment within 7 working days of making your application to avoid your claim being cancelled. If your claim is cancelled you'll need to reapply online.
  4. If your application is successful, you'll get your first payment around 5 weeks after making your online application.

Check your eligibility and apply for Universal Credit


To get Universal Credit, you must:

If you're over state pension age, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit instead. Criteria for claiming Housing Benefit

Claiming other benefits

You may be able to get other benefits and support if you're claiming Universal Credit. This includes:

If you're receiving any of these benefits already and are about to apply for Universal Credit, you'll continue to be paid as usual for these benefits. Unless you reach The Benefit Cap.

Advance payments

You can apply to get an advance to help you:

  • While you wait for your first payment after you've applied or transferred from another benefit.
  • While you wait for your payments to increase after you report a change of circumstances.
  • With a specific one-off expense, such as replacing a broken fridge, covering an unexpected bill or paying for repairs to your home.

When you apply for an advance, you'll need to explain why you need one.

Benefits Universal Credit replaced

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

In certain circumstances, you may still be able to claim Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit. Criteria for claiming Housing Benefit.