Universal credit is a benefit for working age people, that has been introduced by the government. It has replaced employment and support allowance (income related), jobseekers allowance (income based), income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit.
It is paid calendar monthly in arrears and includes any entitlement to the rent cost that you have.
Claims for universal credit need to be made online. You need to visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit to do this. Backdating is extremely limited, so it is important you do this as soon as you think you may be eligible. In exceptional circumstances you will be able to claim by ringing 0800 3285644, but they will encourage you to do it online wherever possible.
By the end of 2024, it is expected that everyone currently on one of the existing benefits will be transferred to universal credit.
If you have any questions regarding universal credit please contact the Money Matters team on 0800 9996130 or by email.
The following people may also be able to offer support and advice:
You can get advice about universal credit as well as general advice on money matters from the Money Advice Service (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, closed weekends and bank holidays):
Telephone: 0800 138 7777
Typetalk: 18001 0800 915 4622