Universal Credit

Information on Universal Credit, a benefit for people on a low income who are below pension age.

About Universal Credit

Universal Credit has replaced the following benefits:

  • Income support (IS)
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSAIB)
  • Income-related employment support allowance (ESAIR)
  • Housing benefit (HB)
  • Working tax credit (WTC)
  • Budgeting loans (BL)

This affects new benefit claimants or if you have a change in circumstances. 

Currently, it only applies if you are on a low income, an unemployed jobseeker, below pension age and single with no children. 

From the 24 October, all customers with new claims who are of working age (both unemployed and low wage earners) will receive Universal Credit in Rushmoor. The only exceptions to this would be if you are considered homeless and living in temporary accommodation, or living in supported accommodation.

Changes to Universal Credit following the 2017 autumn budget

  • From January 2018, the Universal Credit advance increased from 50% of the entitlement to 100%
  • Repayment of the advances is now recoverable over a period of up to 12 months, regardless of the amount of the advance
  • From February 2018, the seven-day waiting period for new claimants was removed
  • From  April 2018, claimants, who previously received housing benefit and are moving onto Universal Credit, will receive an additional two weeks' support from the council, unless there is a change in circumstances, such as moving address, which we must be made aware of

To allow these changes to be implemented, there is a temporary shutdown on new Universal Credit claims from 31 December 2017. Claimants will need to claim housing benefit, tax credits and the existing Department of Work and Pensions' benefits, such as jobseeker's allowance/employment support allowance/income support. Any claimants already receiving Universal Credit will not be affected. To see if you are affected, please see the pdf icon Universal Credit shutdown - factsheet [69kb].

Claim Universal Credit

You will need to make a claim from The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP):

Claim Universal Credit This link opens in a new browser window

If you have had a change of circumstances so that you need to re-apply for benefits / tax credits, you may also have to apply for Universal Credit. 

If you are unsure if you need to claim for Universal Credit, please contact us using the details on this page.

Who is able to claim Universal Credit

There are a number of conditions that must be satisfied to be able to claim Universal Credit. Please see the pdf icon Universal Credit - frequently asked questions [201kb] guide for further information. Please also see the other guides on this page that may answer any questions you may have.

All DWP Universal Credit phone lines are now freeand nobody will be charged when they need to call to get help with their Universal Credit claim. the key Universal Credit Freephone numbers include:

  • Universal Credit live service: 0800 328 9344 (this replaces 0345 600 0723).
  • Universal Credit full service: 0800 328 5644 (this replaces 0345 600 4272)

How Universal Credit is paid

Universal Credit covers daily living costs and housing costs. It is paid monthly in arrears, on the same day each month, based on the date of your claim.

In most cases, it is paid direct into a bank account and you may want to consider setting up direct debits to pay your regular bills.

You can find advice on this on the Money Advice Service on Universal Credit and other benefits.

Existing benefit claimants and Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions is planning to move existing claimants to Universal Credit up to 2023.

Claiming Universal Credit if you work

There is no limit to the number of hours you can work. However, the amount you earn may affect the amount of Universal Credit you can get.

How much Universal Credit will you get

How much Universal Credit you get will depend on your circumstances.  You can get an idea of what help you might receive on the Turn 2 Us website about Universal Credit.

Help you can get with housing costs

If you pay rent or have a mortgage, a housing costs element is included in Universal Credit.

If you are an owner-occupier, you may get support for mortgage interest as well as certain service charges. There is a waiting period of three months before you can claim this.

If you are a private tenant paying rent, your housing cost element will depend on the number of rooms you need, which is the same as the current housing benefit scheme.

Housing costs are no longer paid direct to landlords apart from in exceptional circumstances, or if you are living in certain types of accommodation where your landlord provides care and support. In these cases, we may continue to deal with any claim for help with these.

Universal Credit and savings

Capital under £6,000 is not taken into account, but if you have more than £16,000 you will not be able to get Universal Credit.

If you have capital of between £6,000 - £15,999, the Department for Work and Pensions will treat this as giving you a tariff income of £1 a week for every £250 (or part of) you have between these amount. This is exactly the same as the current housing benefit scheme rules.

Did you find what you were looking for?Did you find what you were looking for?
    1. We use your views to improve our website. If you have a query about our services, please email customerservices@rushmoor.gov.uk.

    1. We use your views to improve our website. If you have a query about our services, please email customerservices@rushmoor.gov.uk.


A - Z of Council Services