What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:
- Income Support.
- Income Related Job Seeker’s Allowance.
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
- Housing Benefit.
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit.
Help with Council tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. If you would like to apply for Council Tax Support then please see our Council Tax Support page.
Existing benefit claimants
If you are already claiming any benefits you don’t need to do anything. You’ll be told when UC will affect you. However if your situation changes and this results in your benefits changing you may need to claim Universal credit if it has started in your area.
New benefit claimants
Most working people, not in work or on a low income, cannot make a new application for any of the old benefits listed above. Instead they will need to apply for Universal Credit online at gov.uk
People living in a hostel, supported accommodation, a refuge or temporary emergency homeless accommodation will need to claim Housing Benefit as well as Universal Credit.
How to claim Universal Credit
Claim online via the Universal Credit Portal
Proving your Identity
GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove who you are online and speed up the process for claiming Universal Credit. It may remove the need for you to visit a Job Centre in person to prove who you are.
In most cases it takes less than 15 minutes to verify your identity the first time you use GOV.UK Verify. Any time after that, it should only take a couple of minutes to sign in. The service checks your personal details against records held by mobile phone providers, HM Passport Office, DVLA or credit agencies. There’s no effect on your credit score.
You can find more information on GOV.UK Verify. Customers should be offered this service when applying for Universal Credit.