Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment designed to support people of working age who are on a low income or out of work. Administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this new benefit is designed to give people the support needed to prepare for work, to move into work, or earn more.

It will replace the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • If you are of Pension Credit age, Universal Credit will not affect you.

Universal Credit does not include any help to pay your Council Tax bill. If you need help, you can apply for Council Tax Support 

Can I claim Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is being introduced in Wakefield in stages:

  • If you need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits, you do not have more than two children and your postcode starts with DN6 7.., S72 9.., S71 4.., S75 4.., S75 5.., WF12 0.., WF12 7.., WF12 8.., you will have to apply for Universal Credit instead
  • From 10 October 2018, if you need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits, you do not have more than two children and your postcode starts with either WF3 1.. or LS26 8.., you will have to apply for Universal Credit instead
  • From 28 November 2018, Universal Credit will be rolled out to the rest of the Wakefield district. From that date, if you need to make a new claim for any of the above benefits, you do not have more than two children, you will have to apply for Universal Credit instead

If you live in supported accommodation (such as a hostel) you will still need to claim Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs. For more information about Universal Credit and to find out if you can claim, visit the gov.uk website.

If you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit and you need help with housing costs, you should apply for Housing Benefit instead. You can also visit www.gov.uk for information about other benefits you can claim.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

If you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, you will need to apply online. If you need help to apply, visit your local Jobcentre or visit us at our Customer Access Point in Wakefield One.

If you are already on benefits

If you already get one of the six benefits being replaced by Universal Credit, you will carry on receiving these benefits until:

  • You need to make a claim for any of the benefits being replaced and you do not have more than two children and your postcode starts with either S72 9.., S71 4.., S75 4.., S75 5, DN6 7.., WF12 0.., WF12 7.., WF12 8.., WF3 1.. and LS26 8..

When this happens, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead.

Eventually, Universal Credit will be extended to all other areas of Wakefield and will replace all six benefits. When this happens, you will get a letter from the DWP telling you what to do next.

If you live in supported accommodation (such as a hostel) your housing costs will not be covered by Universal Credit. This means you will continue to receive Housing Benefit even if your other benefits change over.

If you get Council Tax Support, this will not be affected until you start to get Universal Credit. When this happens, you need to notify us that your circumstances have changed.

Managing your money

The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial advice on how to manage your income. If you need to claim Universal Credit, or are already receiving it, their website has a lot of useful information and guidance that will help you make the most of your money.

More information