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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Universal Credit

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

For more information on Universal Credit and how it effects you, please read the attached Universal Credit leaflet.

We have also attached a Universal Credit fact sheet which 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.


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)
  • have no more than two children 
  • 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

You have to claim Universal Credit online through

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 attached Where to get help and advice page.

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 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

North Star customers can access information, advice and support through the Welfare Benefit Officers on 03000 11 00 11.

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 their website.


If residents are Thirteen customers, information is available on their 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 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 read our Council Tax support page


Help with claiming Universal Credit online 

If you need help making your claim you can contact Customer Services. If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, you may be able to use a computer at the Jobcentre or our Customer Service Centres.  Please make sure you have the relevant information and documentation needed when you make your claim.


Customer Services - By phone

Telephone - 01642 393829

Telephone opening times are:

Monday to Thursday: 8am – 5.30pm

Friday: 8am – 5.30pm

Saturday: 9.30am – 12.30pm


Customer Service Centres - In person

Billingham Library and Customer Service Centre

Stockton Customer Service Centre

Thornaby Customer Service Centre