Universal Credit

Universal Credit is part of the Government's welfare reform programme. It is a new benefit that is replacing six existing in-and-out of work benefits for working-age applicants with a single monthly payment. Universal Credit will replace:

Claims for Universal Credit are made to the Department for Works and Pensions not South Northamptonshire Council.

Universal Credit will roll out to new claims from single people who are fit for work and have no children, who would otherwise have been eligible for jobseeker's allowance.

In the South Northamptonshire area, Universal Credit delivery began from 23rd November 2015 for single customers with a new claim for jobseeker's allowance. If these customers have housing costs, they will not claim housing benefit, as housing costs will be included in their Universal Credit assessment.

Are you ready for Universal Credit?

Please see

For more information about Universal Credit please visit the DWP Universal Credit website.

Am I eligible for Universal Credit?

To be eligible for Universal Credit in this first phase you must:

If you meet all the above criteria, you can make a claim for Universal Credit.

If you do not meet these criteria then you should claim other benefits relative to your circumstances including Housing Benefit , or you can use the Benefits Advisors to check what other help you might be eligible to claim for.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, not South Northamptonshire Council. You do not have to go to a Job Centre or council building to claim Universal Credit. You claim Universal Credit online.

There is no paper form to fill in. This means you can make a claim at a time that is convenient for you. Applications must be made online at the Universal Credit website.

If for any reason you have any questions about, or need help with the online claim form, you can contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.

If you don't have your own facilities to apply online, you can find support and help to apply at your nearest IT access point.

What do I need to make a claim for Universal Credit?

You will need the following information with you to make your claim online:

It should take between 20 and 40 minutes to complete your claim and it must be completed in one session, if you leave the form inactive for 20 minutes it will time out and you will have to start again.

Claims will only have effect once the application has been successfully submitted online; it cannot be backdated. It is important that you make sure you have all of the information that you need to make your claim and that you do not delay in making your application.

If for any reason you have any questions about, or need help with, the online claim form you can contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.

What happens after I submit my claim?

After you have submitted your online claim form you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions by telephone to take your through the rest of your claim.

Full details of your claim journey can be found at your claim journey (251 kb pdf).

How will I get paid?

Universal Credit is paid differently from current benefits. It'll be paid once a month, in arrears and directly into your bank, building society, post office or Credit Union account. In exceptional circumstances alternative payment arrangements can be made. This will be discussed when you make your claim.
Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and you'll then pay your landlord yourself.

Contact the Money Advice Service to get help budgeting and planning for Universal Credit. If your work coach in the Job Centre identifies a need for support with budgeting they will speak to you about how we can provide Personal Budgeting Support to you.


What if I am a landlord or if I am a tenant living in rented accommodation?

If you are claiming Universal Credit and you are in rented accommodation please remember that any payment towards housing costs will be paid to you, not to your landlord. You should contact your landlord immediately and make arrangements to pay your rent directly to your landlord.

If you are a landlord or tenant and want to know more about Universal Credit, see:

How can I get further advice?

If you have a change of circumstance or need to speak to someone you should contact the Universal Credit Helpline on 0345 6000 723 (textphone: 0345 6000 743). Their opening hours are 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday. Call are charged at the standard local rate from BT landlines. Call charges from mobiles and other networks may vary. If a call ends suddenly, it is up to you to call back.

For any further information or any queries you might have please visit the Universal Credit website.