Universal Credit

Find out what Universal Credit is, what benefits you're eligible for and how to apply.

Universal Credit does not include an amount for Council Tax. Make sure you get your claim to us, or you may find yourself in arrears with extra costs to pay.

Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working age, and for mixed age couples where one member of the couple has not reached Pension Credit age. It is paid monthly by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and may include an amount for housing costs.

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Once you have claimed Universal Credit you cannot go back to one of the six legacy benefits, listed above, even if your circumstances change.

For more information about moving to Universal Credit please see How could Universal Credit help you.

If you want to check how much benefit you may be entitled to please use an independent benefits calculator.

You must apply and manage your Universal credit claim online. Information about how much you will be paid and reporting changes in circumstances will be done online through your Universal Credit journal.

Universal Credit does not replace our Council Tax Support scheme or Free School Meals. You must continue to claim both of these separately, directly with the Council.

Make a claim for Free School Meals

Make a claim for Council Tax Support

Moving from Tax Credit to Universal Credit 

If you receive either Working Tax and/or Child Tax Credits and no other benefits, then you will soon be invited to claim Universal Credit by the Department of Work and Pensions.

They will be writing to all Barking and Dagenham residents who claim Tax Credits only and inviting you to claim Universal Credit within three months. Please note if you get any legacy benefits then this should NOT apply to you. This means if you get ESA, JSA, Income Support or Housing Benefit with your tax credits, you shouldn’t receive a letter.

Please do not claim ahead of receiving your invitation letter - wait until you are invited before making a claim. This is because if the amount in benefits you receive is lower on Universal Credit than your current tax credit, protection will be applied so you don’t lose any money.

All information on how to apply for Universal Credit will be included in the letter you receive.

If you need additional support to complete your application, help is available including through Citizens Advice Help to Claim.

More information can be found at on the 'Understanding Universal Credit' website.