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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment to help with your living costs and provides support if you are working and on a low income, looking for work or unable to work.

What is changing

The following benefits and tax credits are ending and being replaced by Universal Credit (opens new window), which is a single monthly payment administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (opens new window):

  • Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

What do I need to do

From April 2024, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (opens new window) is writing to people who receive these benefits to let them know that they need to claim Universal Credit instead, the move is not automatic.

The letter, called a Migration Notice, explains what you need to do and when, and provides information about the help available to continue receiving support from the government. It is important that you do not do anything until you receive your letter, but you can find out when you are likely to be asked to move to Universal Credit here: When you need to apply for Universal Credit ( (opens new window)

Once you've received your Universal Credit Migration Notice letter, you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit to continue to get financial support.

There is a deadline for making a claim. This is 3 months from the date the letter was sent.

Your current benefits will end as soon as you submit your claim for Universal Credit and you will not be able to go back to your existing benefit once you have claimed.

Making a claim for Universal Credit

You need to make a claim for Universal Credit online. If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, find out where your nearest public access computer is and what support is available at each location to help you apply.

Make a claim for Universal Credit  (opens new window)

Make sure that you have the following information before you start with your online application

You will need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or post office account you want Universal Credit paid into
  • your tenancy (rent) agreement, if you have one
  • details of your savings and other capital
  • details of any income that is not from work (for example, from an insurance plan)
  • details of any other benefits you are receiving

What help is available

If you want help with your Universal Credit application, or you're concerned about managing your income until you receive your first Universal Credit payment, support is available on: Support and independent advice ( (opens new window).

Housing costs

You will need to claim Universal Credit for help with housing costs (rent) unless you fall within one of the following groups:

  • you and your partner are of state pension age
  • you are living in specified accommodation

You cannot claim Housing Benefit unless you fall within one of the above groups

Council tax

Universal Credit does not include help towards council tax. If you are required to pay council tax, and you claim Universal Credit, you will also need to request a council tax reduction.

If you are claiming Universal Credit and wish to apply for council tax reduction you should indicate on the online Universal Credit claim that you intend to apply for council tax reduction. The Department for Work and Pensions should then share your data with the council to allow council tax reduction to be calculated. Please contact the council to ensure that your data has been received by the Benefits Team and your council tax reduction has been assessed.

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