'Universal Credit' supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. It includes a monthly payment to help with your living costs.This site will help you understand what Universal Credit means for you. If you want to go straight to making a claim for Universal Credit visit gov.uk/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:
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