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Universal Credit

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Universal Credit updates

If you're struggling, we advise you to apply for Universal Credit as you may be entitled to it.

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.

How can I 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

Who can claim 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

Can I claim other benefits if I get Universal Credit?

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.

Can I get an advance on my Universal Credit payment?

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.

Universal Credit Advances - includes how to apply, how much you can get and more

What benefits did Universal Credit replace?

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.


‚ÄčUniversal Credit is managed and paid out by The Department for Work and Pensions.

Contact The Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit: opening up work

The Department for Work and Pensions have produced a short video explaining Universal Credit.


Watch Universal Credit: opening up work video on YouTube (47 secs)