Universal Credit and other benefits


Universal Credit is the benefit for working age people who are in or out of work. It’s being rolled out in stages across the UK and has been designed to replace Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. Although there’s no limit to how many hours you can work, the amount you receive will gradually reduce as your earnings increase.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

  1. You need to claim and manage Universal Credit payments online.
  2. You must have a bank, building society or credit union account.
  3. You’ll also need to make a claim for Council Tax Support separately from your local council.

How is it paid?

It’s paid monthly in arrears as one payment per household, directly into your bank, building society or credit union account.

How is rent paid if I’m on Universal Credit?

  • You have to make rent payments to us (at the moment, if you receive Housing Benefit, your council pays your rent directly to us).
  • The easiest way is to pay by Direct Debit.

How can I get ready for Universal Credit?

To find out more about what you need to do to get ready for Universal Credit, check out this short online questionnaire from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Benefit cap

There’s a limit to the amount of benefits and tax credits people of working age can receive (often referred to as the benefit cap). The limit depends on where you live and the people in your household.

The benefit cap inside Greater London is:

  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re in a couple.
  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re a single parent and your children live with you.

Do you qualify for the Household Support Fund?

We know that sudden unexpected costs can create real challenges if you’re already experiencing financial difficulties. This winter, the government has launched a new grant for households, known as the Household Support Fund.

What is the Household Support Fund?

The Household Support Fund provides short-term financial support to help anyone who is struggling to cover essentials such as food, clothing and utilities. It will also be available where existing housing support schemes such as Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments cannot meet a family or household’s needs.

How to apply for the Household Support Fund?

The government has provided each local authority with additional funds under its Household Support Fund. Therefore, you’ll need to contact your local council directly to find out more about how you can apply and whether you qualify for the additional funds.

You can apply for funding up until March 2022.

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