About Universal Credit

Universal Credit is the benefit for working age people (including those who have a partner who is over pension age) who are in or out of work. It has been designed to replace what are known as the Legacy Benefits: Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. Although there is no limit to how many hours you can work, the amount you receive will gradually reduce as your earnings increase.

If your circumstances change, you may need to claim Universal Credit rather than a Legacy Benefit. It is important not to delay making a claim, as it is very unlikely that you will be able to get backdated Universal Credit payments. However, it is equally important you seek sound advice before you apply for Universal Credit because not everyone is entitled to it or is guaranteed to receive a payment. Once you apply for Universal Credit, your Legacy Benefits including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, will stop and there is no going back.

If you live in Temporary Accommodation, or some of our Supported Accommodation you may need to claim Housing Benefit for help with your rent as well as Universal Credit for your living costs. 

If you currently receive the Severe Disability Premium in your Legacy Benefits, you should continue to claim Legacy Benefits rather than Universal Credit. 

The Government are in the process of making everyone currently on a Legacy Benefit, move over to claiming Universal Credit by Winter 2023/24.

You should receive notice of this by way of written communication nearer the time.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

  1. You need to claim and manage Universal Credit payments online. There are exceptions to this rule for vulnerable residents who are not computer literate. We do not advise these tenants to ask someone to make an online claim on their behalf if there is no one trustworthy to help manage your online claim going forward, as you run the risk of your Universal Credit claim being blocked. Instead, these claimants should apply via DWP’s Telephone Service: 0800 328 5644.

  2. You must have a bank, building society or credit union account.

  3. You need an email address and mobile number.

  4. You will also need to make a claim for Council Tax Support separately from your local council. Please see your council’s website or contact them for further information.

If you do not have a computer at home, you can try accessing one free of charge at:

  • Your local jobcentre
  • Your local library
  • Raven’s Digital Support Team

  • You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You do not need to be married.
  • After you apply, you must contact your local Jobcentre Plus within seven days to make an appointment with a work coach.
  • Make sure you have three items of identification, preferably photo ID (passport or driving licence).

Help to make your claim

You can get help with making your Universal Credit claim from the Moneywise Team at Raven Housing Trust or your local Citizens Advice. To access this help, call Raven on 0300 123 3399 or Citizens Advice free on 0800 144 8 444 or go to: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/helptoclaim