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The Government has introduced Universal Credit as part of the welfare reforms. Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will replace six existing benefits for working age people.

It replaces:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and not local councils.

Those customers claiming Universal Credit (UC) who have their housing costs paid as part of their UC, are no longer entitled to claim Housing Benefit.

Working age customers should now claim Universal Credit, however we strongly recommend that you check to see if you should claim Universal Credit by checking on an online calculator before you make your claim. Online calculators can be found on the internet.


All Pensions age claimants are excluded from the Universal Credit scheme and will still claim Housing Benefit.

Customers living in Supported Accommodation will continue to claim Housing Benefit. This is accommodation where you receive such support as care, supervision or counselling and advice. Some examples of supported accommodation are hostels, refuges and supported living complexes.

Customers with three or more children making a new claim should still claim the relevant Benefits listed above instead of Universal Credit.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction IS NOT included in Universal Credit and you will need to make a claim to us as normal. It is important that any claim for Council Tax Reduction is made as early as possible as help entitlement will not usually be backdated.

Change of Circumstances

If you currently get Housing Benefit and have a change in your circumstances it may mean you have to move on to Universal Credit. If this is the case you will need to make an online claim for Universal Credit. You should tell us about the change as normal and we will tell you if this means a new claim for Universal Credit has to be made.

Keep your records updated

If you are already receiving Universal Credit you will need to contact Universal Credit to report the change in your circumstances. Council Tax Reduction will remain with the Council as per the advice above.