Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income and is part of the Government’s Welfare Reform. It is administered and paid by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Who will be affected

You will need to apply for Universal Credit if you are making a new claim for one of the benefits that Universal Credit is replacing.

If you are currently claiming benefits that Universal Credit will replace you will carry on receiving these benefits as normal. You will not be moved onto Universal Credit yet as long as there is no change in your circumstances.

For more information on Universal Credit and to find out if you're eligible to claim it, visit GOV.UK - Universal Credit.

You can still apply for housing benefit if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You live in supported/exempt accommodation such as a homelessness hostel, a refuge, sheltered housing or accommodation which includes care, support or supervision
  • You are a pensioner
  • You or your partner get a benefit that includes a severe disability premium, or if the benefit ended in the last month, continue to be eligible for a severe disability premium.
  • You live in temporary accommodation provided by the council

How to make a claim

You need to claim Universal Credit online. You will need:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or credit union account you would like any Universal Credit award paid into
  • tenancy agreement and your current rent amount
  • details of any income, savings or capital
  • details of children including a child benefit number
  • photo ID, such as a passport or photo driving license (not essential but speeds up the claiming process)

You can get help to open a bank account from the Leeds City Credit Union.

Claim Universal Credit online External link

Payments will be made monthly in arrears into your bank account.

If you live in a council, private rented or housing association property

If you are on Universal Credit it may also include an amount for your rent. You will be advised if an amount for your rent is included.

You are responsible for paying your rent to your landlord.

For council tenants we can work with you on any matter affecting your Universal Credit claim and your tenancy. Please contact us through your local housing team.

If you are a council, private or housing association we can:

  • offer digital support and training to help you make and maintain your claim online
  • help you plan and prioritise your spending to help you keep to monthly budget

Please visit us at your local community hub or one stop centre.

Extra Help with your Housing costs

If your Universal Credit housing element does not cover all of your rent you might be able to get extra help from us with a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

Help and support



Help to manage your moneyHelp to manage your money<div class="ExternalClass8E4F6580E91441689BF0EE02641672C8"><p>It will be important for you to manage your money to last until your next payment of Universal Credit and to make sure you pay your rent.</p><p>Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) is a service that can help you to manage your money. This service is available at the following Community Hubs:</p><ul class="list list-bullet"> <li> <a href="/your-council/consultations-and-feedback/city-centre-one-stop-centre">The Merrion Community Hub, Leeds City Centre</a></li><li> <a href="/residents/neighbourhoods-and-community/community-hubs/dewsbury-road-community-hub">Dewsbury Road Community Hub</a></li><li> <a href="/your-council/consultations-and-feedback/the-compton-joint-service-centre">The Compton Centre</a></li><li> <a href="/residents/neighbourhoods-and-community/onestop-centres/armley-one-stop-centre">Armley One Stop Centre</a></li></ul><p>You can also call us on <strong>0113 376 0330</strong>.</p><p>Personal Budgeting Support will include:</p><ul class="list list-bullet"><li>completion of an income and expenditure form and calculation of your expenses</li><li>advice on how to manage your income over a monthly period</li><li>assistance to review your utility providers, household expenses, to help you maximise your income</li><li>referral to external agencies for debt advice - if this is required</li><li>referral for support from your landlord for help with a payment plan if rent arrears are building up</li><li>support with applying for employment and training</li></ul><p>More information about managing your money is also available from the <a rel="external" href="https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en">Money Advice Service</a>.</p></div>
Advance PaymentsAdvance Payments<div class="ExternalClass5B258869E1234B05AFABBE7D6B9C3173"><p>If you think that you will struggle to manage while you are waiting for your first payment of Universal Credit you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for a short term advance. You can request up to 100% of your expected first payment. You will need to pay this advance back to DWP out of your ongoing Universal Credit award and it must be repaid in full within 12 months.</p> <p>You can apply for an Advance Payment through your online Universal Credit account, at the same time as your initial interview at the Jobcentre, or by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre on <strong>0800 328 5644</strong>.</p></div>
Alternative Payment ArrangementsAlternative Payment Arrangements<div class="ExternalClassD1D4EB3EDC794B939FB7AAEF2EDF4118"><p>You may be able to have your Universal Credit paid more frequently than monthly, or have it paid direct to your landlord. Speak to your Work Coach at the Job Centre to see if you are eligible for Alternative Payment Arrangements.</p><br></div>
Help with Free School MealsHelp with Free School Meals<div class="ExternalClass3F3246B9EC7E48AA84A657B877396A9E"><p>Your child may be entitled to <a href="/residents/council-tax-and-benefits/free-school-meals">Free School Meals</a> if you are eligible to Universal Credit.</p><br></div>
Help to make a claim for Universal CreditHelp to make a claim for Universal Credit<div class="ExternalClass2716B8B3D6074712808CCFB0F6E623C3"><p>You can get help to make your Universal Credit claim at a <a rel="external" href="http://los.direct.gov.uk/">Job Centre Plus Office</a> or any of our <a href="/residents/neighbourhoods-and-community/community-hubs">Community Hubs</a> or <a href="/leisure/libraries/your-library">Libraries</a>.</p> <p>We can help you to:</p><ul class="list list-bullet"><li>set up an email address</li><li>make an online claim for Universal Credit</li><li>learn how to manage your Universal Credit account, which will help your claim run smoothly</li><li>get further digital skills through organised IT courses</li></ul></div>
LandlordsLandlords<div class="ExternalClass89D896FE729848489FC032CE35E3FA57"><p>If you are a landlord you can get more information specifically about <a rel="external" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-rented-housing--2/universal-credit-and-rented-housing-guide-for-landlords">Universal Credit for landlords</a> from the DWP website.</p></div>



Did you find what you were looking for?

Did you find the information you were looking for?