Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit which combines a number of existing benefits into one claim:

  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support

You cannot usually get any of these benefits or tax credits separately if you get Universal Credit.

Who can claim

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. 

Universal Credit started in Oxford in April 2015. Only single people without children who would normally apply for Jobseekers Allowance can get Universal Credit in Oxford.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is in the process of extending Universal Credit to other groups of people. This will happen in Oxford in October 2017.

You can check if you are eligible to apply for Universal Credit on the GOV.UK website. You will need your National Insurance number and your postcode.

You don't need to do anything if you're already claiming any benefits. The DWP will tell you when Universal Credit will affect you.

You may be able to claim Jobseekers Allowance or other benefits if you're not eligible to claim Universal Credit.


How you'll be paid

Universal Credit is paid differently from current benefits. It is paid monthly, usually into your bank or building society account.

Any help you get with your rent is included with your Universal Credit payment. You are then expected to pay the rent to your landlord yourself.

Guide to managing Universal Credit payments


How to claim

For help finding work and the latest updates about Universal Credit, visit the Daily Jobseeker website

You can claim Universal Credit online. This short guide explains how to make your claim.

You can contact the Universal Credit helpline if:

  • you have any questions
  • your circumstances change and you're already getting Universal Credit

Universal Credit helpline: 0345 600 0723

Calls to 0345 numbers cost the same as calls to landline 01 or 02 numbers, whether you are calling from a landline or a mobile. Call charges will vary, depending on your phone provider and your contract. If you are not sure of the cost, please ask your phone provider what their call charges are. 

Last updated: 18 November 2016