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The following information gives you a simple explanation of Universal Credit, including when it is coming in, who it applies to and where to find further support and information. After each section, there is a link to our more detailed guide to Universal Credit.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new government benefit replacing six working age and income-related benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Universal Credit factsheets
We have also attached the following factsheets
- Factsheet 1 - Making a claim
Outlines the information you'll need to gather together before applying. This will help you make sure you only have to do the application once, and help you to get Universal Credit as quickly as possible if you’re eligible.
- Factsheet 2 - Support in making a claim
Provides information on where you can access support for making a claim for Universal Credit, including the type of support you can receive, whether this is to set up an email account, general help with using a computer or full support in making a Universal Credit application.
- Factsheet 3 - Getting an email address - How to set up an e-mail account.
- Factsheet 4 - Jargon Buster - Definitions and jargon buster.
If you already get benefits
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.
Who can claim?
To get Universal Credit you must:
- Be on a low income or out of work.
- Be 18 or over (in most cases). For more information please visit the GOV.UK website.
- Live in the UK.
- Be under pension credit age (or live with a partner who is under the pension credit age).
- Not have savings over £16,000.
Before you make a claim
Before you make your claim, you should have the following information:
- Your (and your partner's) National Insurance number.
- Your postcode.
- Your landlord's name and address.
- Your eligible rent if you are living in social housing - this can be different from your full rent (make sure to check with your landlord so you get paid the right amount of Universal Credit).
- Details of any children, relatives, friends who live with you, including their name, date of birth, age and income.
- Account details of where you want your Universal Credit to be paid - account number and sort code. If you do not have a bank account, why not visit the Tees Credit Union for further help and support.
- Details of any savings.
- If working - your expected monthly wage.
- Details of any other income you receive.
How to Claim
The following video shows you how to complete the online claim form.
Universal Credit Helpline
If you need help to claim online, please contact the Universal Credit free helpline: 0800 328 5644.
How can we help?
There are many organisations providing help and advice on benefits. The details of our Welfare Support Service are shown on the Where to get help and advice webpage.
In addition to this, there are a number of external organisations that can assist with Universal Credit requests, please see below for further information:
Actes can provide support for residents through their bespoke IT support course – Work IT Out which is aimed at anyone aged 19 and over living in Stockton and Middlesbrough who would benefit from improved IT skills to help them to navigate Universal Credit and to find future employment. For further information on the scheme please visit the Actes website or contact the Actes Support Team on 01642 255001.
Accent offers their residents support and advice around Universal Credit and other tenancy matters. Residents can contact their Tenancy Sustainability Officers. Accent are also encouraging residents to use the customer portal on the Accent website.
North Star customers can access information, advice and support through the Welfare Benefit Officers on telephone: 03000 110011.
Stockton District Advice
SDAIS (Citizens Advice Bureau) provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. For further information please visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website.
If residents are Thirteen customers, information is available on the Thirteen website, and customers can access support from their Money Advice Team.
Private and social sector landlords
Private and social sector landlords can find additional information about Universal Credit to help their tenants, for further information please visit the GOV.UK website.
Council Tax Support
If you need help with your Council Tax, you may be able to claim Council Tax support. These payments are not included in Universal Credit so you will need to claim this support from the Council. For more information on how to make a claim, please visit our Council Tax support page.
Help with claiming Universal Credit online
Support for Universal Credit is the responsibility of the Citizens Advice Bureau.
- Help to claim freephone: 0800 1448444
- Webchat support: Visit the Citizens Advice website for support.
- Address: Unit 22, Wellington Square, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1RH.
- If you require assistance with Council Tax Support, further information can be found on our Council Tax support page or contact 01642 393829.