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Universal Credit Explained

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs.

You may be able to get it if you are on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

It replaces some of the benefits and tax credits:

  •          Housing Benefit
  •          Income Support
  •          Working Tax Credit
  •          Child Tax Credit
  •          Income-based Job seeker's Allowance (JSA)
  •          Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Key facts on Universal Credit

  • If you’re living in England or Wales and have support with your rent, Universal Credit (UC) will be included in your monthly payment. You will need to pay your landlord directly
  • If you’re living in Scotland or Northern Ireland rent can be paid directly to your landlord or you can choose to do it yourself
  • When you live with someone as a couple and you are both entitled to claim UC, you will get a joint payment into a single bank account
  • As UC is paid in arrears it may take up to five weeks to receive your first payment after you make your claim
  • When claiming UC there are no limits to the hours you work. When you earn more, your UC will gradually reduce
  • You will usually have to make your claim online

Money Helper (formerly Money Advice Service) explains how Universal Credits works. Click here for more information.

To find your local Jobcentre area where you can claim Universal Credit click here

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