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Universal Credit

Universal Credit has replaced these benefits for most people:

Universal Credit works differently from the old benefits - so it's important to know the differences.

How Universal Credit works

You'll usually get one monthly payment to cover your living costs. If you claim Universal Credit as a couple, you and your partner will get one payment between the two of you. The payment is made up of a basic 'standard allowance' and extra payments that might apply to you depending on your circumstances.

You might be able to get extra payments if you:

  • look after one or more children
  • work and pay for childcare
  • need help with housing costs
  • are disabled or have a health condition
  • are a carer for a disabled person or you have a disabled child

Check how much you might get on GOV.UK.

If you get help with rent

If your UC payment includes help with rent, you'll usually need to pay us each month from your Universal Credit payment. You can ask the DWP to pay your rent directly to us if you're in debt, have rent arrears or are struggling with money.

If you're working

You can work and still get Universal Credit - your Universal Credit will reduce gradually as you earn more. Your Universal Credit will go up if your job ends or you earn less.

If you're self-employed, your payment might also be affected by how much the DWP expect you to earn each month - this expected amount is called your 'minimum income floor'. Find out how the minimum income floor works and if it applies to you.

Claiming other benefits if you get Universal Credit

You should apply for Council Tax Reduction - if you get it, it won't reduce the amount of Universal Credit you get.

If you’re disabled, you should check if you’re eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you’re responsible for a disabled child, you should check if you can claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your child. Getting PIP or DLA won’t reduce the amount of Universal Credit you get.

You can also claim other benefits if you have enough national insurance contributions. For example:

If you get either of these benefits your Universal Credit will be reduced, but there are reasons it's still worth claiming them. For example, Universal Credit is paid once a month, but JSA and ESA are paid every 2 weeks. This might make it easier to manage your money.

For further information about benefits, visit the Citizen Advice website