Universal Credit

The following information applies to people of working age only. If you are pension age, Universal Credit does not apply to you.

Universal Credit (UC) helps make sure you’re getting the financial support you’re entitled to. It has replaced six older benefits – Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, income support, Income-based Job-seeker’s Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – with a modern system.

UC is completely managed online so you’ll need internet access and basic computer skills to manage your account. There’s a useful link at the bottom of this page that can help you get online. When you set your account up, you’ll be able to log in using a username and password to make a claim, view payment details, search for a job and report any changes in your circumstances.

The really important bit

With UC, you can no longer claim Housing Benefit and your housing payment is paid to you, not ForHousing. This means you are responsible for paying your rent.

This may be a big change but setting up a Direct Debit is easy and takes the hassle out of paying your rent. It can also help with budgeting.

If you are currently claiming UC, you will be eligible for an advance payment to make sure that your rent and other bills can be paid. If you’re not sure if you need an advance or want to discuss this, please just contact our Income team.

Things like the Benefit Cap and Bedroom Tax (also known as the Spare Room Subsidy) can also affect your UC payment.

To make a UC claim you will need:

  • Internet access
  • An email address
  • A bank account (to receive payments)
  • A mobile phone number
  • Your national insurance number
  • Proof of identity – something with a photo, like a passport or driving licence
  • A recent rent statement

Paying your rent is a priority. If you claim UC, please contact our income team to discuss how this affects your rent account and how we can support you. If you are struggling to pay your rent or if you need any money advice then get in touch.

Be prepared – you will need to have access to the internet and basic computer skills.