Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. Claims must be made online and payment from DWP will normally be made monthly, in arrears, to one person in the household directly into a bank account. It can be paid monthly or twice a month for some people.

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

    If you currently get any of these benefits, you do not need to do anything unless:

    • you have a change of circumstances you need to report
    • the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts you about moving to Universal Credit

    If you get tax credits, they will stop when you or your partner applies for Universal Credit.

    Severe disability premium

    You cannot claim Universal Credit if you either:

    • get the severe disability payment, or are entitled to it
    • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you're still eligible for it

    Am I eligible?

    You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

    • you're on a low income or out of work
    • you're 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you're 16 to 17)
    • you're under State Pension Age (or your partner is)
    • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
    • you live in the UK

    The number of children you have does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, but it may affect how much you get.

    If you live with your partner

    Your partner's income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

    If you're 18 or over and in training or studying full-time

    You can make a new Universal Credit claim if 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're disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
    • you're in further education, are 21 or under and do not have parental support, for example you're estranged from your parents and you're not under local authority care

    If you're 16 or 17

    You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

    • you have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
    • you're caring for a severely disabled person
    • you're responsible for a child
    • you're in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
    • you're pregnant and it's 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
    • you've had a child in the last 15 weeks
    • you do not have parental support, for example you're estranged from your parents and you're not under local authority care

    If you're 16 or 17 and studying full-time

    You can also make a claim if you're in full-time further education and any of the following apply:

    • you do not have parental support
    • you have limited capacity for work and you're entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
    • you're responsible for a child
    • you're in a couple with responsibility for a child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit

    If you're in a couple and one of you is State Pension age

    You and your partner can claim Universal Credit as a couple if one of you is under State Pension Age and eligible for Universal Credit.

    When you both reach State Pension age your Universal Credit claim will stop.

    You may be able to apply for Pension Credit or other benefits as a couple when your Universal Credit stops.


    What you'll get

    Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to you, for example if you:

    • have children
    • have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working
    • need help paying your rent

    See Universal Credit: How much you'll get.

    For more information see how your earnings effect your Universal Credit payment.


    How to claim

    Contact the Universal Credit helpline if:

    • you cannot use digital services at all, this might be due to disability or your circumstances
    • you have a question about your claim and cannot access your claim online
    Universal Credit helpline

    For further information visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit.