You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming benefits.
You’ll be told to end your tax credits claim if:
- you or your partner claim Universal Credit
- you move in with a partner who is getting Universal Credit
Where you live
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.
What you'll get
The amount of Universal Credit you’ll get depends on your circumstances and your income.
It can include support:
- for housing
- for children and childcare
- if you’re disabled or have a health condition
- if you care for somebody with a disability
Work while you claim Universal Credit
There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you get Universal Credit.
Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more. You won’t lose all your benefits at once if you’re on a low income.
How you’ll be paid
Universal Credit is paid differently from current benefits. It’ll be paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account.
If you live with your partner and you both claim Universal Credit you’ll receive a single payment that covers you both.
You’ll get a letter and your first payment around 6 weeks after you’ve finished applying for Universal Credit.
Your letter will tell you:
- when you’ll normally get paid
- how much you’ll be paid
- which bank account it’ll be paid into
There is a waiting period of 7 days from submitting your claim before your Universal Credit will start.
This may apply if you’re out of work and claim Universal Credit, unless you:
- were claiming Universal Credit as a couple and are now claiming by yourself
- were claiming Universal Credit by yourself and are now claiming as a couple
- claimed Universal Credit within the last 6 months but left because you earned too much to continue claiming
- are terminally ill
- have been the victim of domestic violence within the last 6 months
- are a carer
- are 16 or 17 years old and have no parental support
- have left prison in the last month
- were entitled to contribution based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) within the last 3 months
- were entitled to income related JSA, ESA or Income Support within the last 3 months and stopped claiming to start working
- were entitled to income related JSA, ESA or Income Support within the last month
- were entitled to Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit within the last month
How to claim
You can claim Universal Credit online.
Contact the helpline if:
- you have any questions
- your circumstances change and you’re already getting Universal Credit
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Welsh language (make a claim): 0800 012 1888
Welsh language (report changes): 0345 600 3018
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
Your Claimant Commitment
You’ll have to accept a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to get Universal Credit.
This is an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks in order to claim Universal Credit.
What you agree to do will depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get work or increase your income.