What is Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. It is being rolled out across the country and is live in Southend-on-Sea.

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Income Support 
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance 
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is calculated as a basic allowance for a single person or a couple plus additional amounts for:

  • Each child or young person you are responsible for (with extra amounts if they are disabled) 
  • Child care costs 
  • If you have a ’limited capability for work’ (This means that you are unable to work due to an illness or a disability) 
  • If you have regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person 
  • Housing costs (mortgage interest payments and rent payments if you are unemployed)

Universal Credit has been designed so that it is payable whether you are working or not. If you are on a low income and are moving in and out of work Universal Credit will remain in payment and be adjusted to suit your new financial circumstances. As your income increases your Universal Credit amount decreases until you no longer need it.

You will get the full amount possible if your household has no other income and has less than £6000 savings. There will be no award if your savings are over £16000.

Universal Credit is paid once a month and paid direct into a bank account. Your claim and your account will be accessed and managed online.

How to make a claim for Universal Credit?

If you fall under the group of households that should be claiming Universal Credit you will need to do this online as Universal Credit is claimed and maintained online.

There is a helpline which is available. You should contact the helpline if:

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

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0345 600 0723

Page last updated: 10/10/2017