Skip to main content

Universal Credit

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or out of work.

You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming other benefits.

How it works:

There’s no limit to the number of hours you can work a week if you get Universal Credit.

Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more. You won’t lose all your benefits at once if you’re on a low income.

How you’ll be paid

Universal Credit is paid differently from other benefits. It’ll be paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account.

If you live with your partner and you both claim Universal Credit, you’ll receive a single payment that covers you both.

Contact the Money Advice Service to get help budgeting and planning for Universal Credit.

Paying your rent:

You can get help with housing costs. It’ll be paid to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment.

You’ll have to arrange to start paying your own rent if you used to get Housing Benefit and don’t do this already.

Universal Credit Advances:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances

  1. Get an advance on your first payment

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply to get an advance.

You may be able to get up to 100% of your estimated Universal Credit payment.

You’ll need to pay back your advance a bit at a time from future Universal Credit payments. You’ll have to pay back the advance over:

  • 12 months if you’ve made a new claim
  • 12 months if you’re transferring from another benefit to Universal Credit

How to apply

Speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach about applying for an advance payment.

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • explain why you need an advance
  • provide bank account details where the advance should be paid
  • verify your identity (you’ll do this online when you submit your Universal Credit claim, or in the job centre during your first interview)

You’ll usually be told the same day you apply if you’ll get an advance.

 

If you need help:

Call the Universal Credit helpline if you need help applying for an advance payment.

If you have a Universal Credit online account and use your online journal to manage your claim, call the Universal Credit full service helpline.

Universal Credit full service helpline Telephone: 0800 328 5644  Textphone:  0800 328 1344   Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

 

Who to contact

Telephone
0800 328 5644

Who is it for?

Ages
18 or over
Eligibility Details
  • You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
    • you’re on a low income or out of work
    • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
    • you’re under State Pension Credit qualifying age (or your Partner is)
    • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
    • you live in the UK
  • The number of children you have does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, but it may affect how much you get.

    Use a benefits calculator to check what benefits you could get if you’re not eligible for Universal Credit.

    If you live with your partner

    Your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

    If you’re 16 or 17

    You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

    • you have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
    • you’re caring for a severely disabled person
    • you’re responsible for a child
    • you’re in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
    • you’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
    • you’ve had a child in the last 15 weeks
    • you do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care

    If you’re in training or studying full-time

    You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

    • you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
    • you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
    • you’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
    • you’re in ‘non-advanced education’ (for example studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 or under and do not have parental support

    If you’re in a couple and one of you is State Pension age

    You and your partner can claim Universal Credit as a couple if one of you is under State Pension age and eligible for Universal Credit.

    When you both reach State Pension age your Universal Credit claim will stop.

    You may be able to apply for Pension Credit or other benefits as a couple when your Universal Credit stops. Ask your Jobcentre Plus work coach what else you could be eligible for. 

If you have a disability or illness that affects your work

You may need to have a work capability assessment to see how your disability or health condition affects your ability to work. If you need an assessment you’ll get a letter telling you where to go and what to do.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment you could be eligible for an extra payment on top of your standard allowance.

Who isn’t eligible

You can’t claim Universal Credit if you already get:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-related Incapacity Benefit

You may be able to claim other benefits if you don’t live in a qualifying area or you’re not eligible to claim Universal Credit.

Severe disability premium

You cannot claim Universal Credit if you either:

  • are getting the severe disability premium 
  • got the severe disability premium within the last month and you’re still eligible for it

If you have a change of circumstances that affects the severe disability premium or your other benefits, report it and you’ll be told what to do next.

How to claim

You can claim Universal Credit online.

Contact the Universal Credit helpline if:

  • you have any questions
  • your circumstances change and you’re already getting Universal Credit
  • you want to make a claim in Welsh

If you have a Universal Credit online account and contact us via your online journal you are using the Universal Credit 'Full Service'.

Telephone 0800 328 5644
Textphone 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

Alternative formats

Call the Universal Credit helpline to ask for alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

How to use this service

Referral Required?
No
Cost Information
Nil

How accessible is this service?

Further Details

If you have a Universal Credit online account and contact us via your online journal you are using Universal Credit full service.

Universal Credit full service

Telephone 0800 328 5644
Textphone 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

Last updated date:
01 August 2019

Reviews

Sign in to write a review

Back to top