Universal Credit 

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. 

If you already get other benefits 

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits: 
Child Tax Credit 
Housing Benefit 
Income Support 
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) 
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 
Working Tax Credit 
 
Eligibility 
You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work. 
 
To claim you must: 
live in the UK 
be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17) 
be under State Pension age 
have £16,000 or less in savings 

If you live with your partner 

You will both need to claim for Universal Credit. You must make a joint claim for your household, even if your partner is not eligible. How much you can get will depend on your partner’s income and savings, as well as your own. 
 
If one of you has reached State Pension age. 
 
If only one of you has reached State Pension age, you and your partner can still claim Universal Credit as a couple. 
 
Your Universal Credit claim will stop when you both reach State Pension age. 

If you’re studying or in training 

You can make a claim for Universal Credit if you’re in full-time education and any of the following apply: 
 
you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit 
you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple 
you’ve reached State Pension age and live with a partner who is below State Pension age 
 
You can also claim Universal Credit if you’re 21 or under, studying any qualification up to A level or equivalent and do not have parental support. 
You may be able to claim if you are studying part-time or doing a course for which no student loan or finance is available. 
 
Students with disabilities or health conditions 
 
You can claim Universal Credit if you’re in full-time education, have limited capability for work and are entitled to any of the following: 
 
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 
Child Disability Payment (CDP) in Scotland 
Attendance Allowance 
Armed Forces Independence Payment 

Claiming if you’re 16 or 17 

You can make a claim for Universal Credit if any of the following apply: 
 
you have a health condition or disability and have medical evidence for it, such as a fit note 
you’re caring for a severely disabled person 
you’re responsible for a child 
you live with your partner, have responsibility for a child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit 
you’re pregnant and expecting your baby in the next 11 weeks 
you’ve had a baby in the last 15 weeks 
you do not have parental support, for example you do not live with your parents and are not under local authority care 

If you have a disability or health condition 

If you have a health condition that affects your ability to work you might get extra money for Universal Credit. 
 
How to claim 
 
You can apply for Universal Credit online. 
 
You need to create an account. You use it to make a claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you will have to start again. 
If you live with your partner, you will both need to create accounts. You’ll link them together when you claim. You cannot claim by yourself. 
 
If you cannot claim online, you can claim by phone through the Universal Credit helpline. 
 
What you need to apply 
 
To apply online you’ll need: 
 
your bank, building society or credit union account details 
an email address 
access to a phone 
 
If you do not have these, you can call the Universal Credit helpline or go to a jobcentre. You can also get support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service. 
You’ll also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example your: 
 
driving licence 
passport 
debit or credit card 
payslip or P60 
 
To complete your claim you will need to provide information about: 
 
your housing, for example how much rent you pay 
your earnings, for example payslips 
any disability or health condition that affects your work 
how much you pay for childcare if you want help with childcare costs 
your savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out 
 
New Style Employment and Support Allowance 
 
You may be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance with, or instead of Universal Credit, depending on your National Insurance record. 
 
If you are ill or have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to work you may be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). 
 
New Style ESA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit (UC). If you get both benefits, your Universal Credit payment is reduced by the amount you get for New Style ESA. 
 
New Style ESA is a contributory benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you’re claiming in. 

 Need advice? Call the Money and Energy Hub on 0116 254 5168  

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