Universal Credit is a new type of payment made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with all of your living costs. It is paid monthly.
For most working age people, your housing costs will now be paid within the Universal Credit (UC) payment from the DWP, instead of by Housing Benefit.
If you are liable to pay Council Tax, you should apply for Council Tax Reduction at the same time, as this can only be backdated for a limited period, if you show a good reason why it was not applied for earlier.
Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
You will not change to UC until you have a change to your circumstances, or you claim any of the above benefits for the first time.
The Council will continue to pay Housing Benefit to certain groups of people including those over state pensionable age, people in specified or temporary accommodation, and those families with 3 or more children. These groups will gradually migrate to UC over time. To see whether you should claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit please contact us for advice.
For more detailed information on Universal Credit please visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk