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Universal Credit (UC) is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work.
Universal Credit (UC) replaces some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now, including:
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
Universal Credit reminder: don’t forget to tell the DWP about changes in your rent...
….because it doesn’t happen automatically. You’ll need to tell the DWP at the right time to make sure you don’t lose any money and so that you carry on getting a housing cost element within your award.
What does that mean for you?
It’s really important to report the changes within the right ‘assessment period’, and not before. Your Universal Credit assessment period runs from 20 March 2021 to 19 April 2021, so the rent change has to be reported between 5 and 19 April.
Here's how to report a change in rent:
- Log into your online UC account
- Select the ‘Home’ tab
- Select ‘Report a Change’
- Select ‘Where I Live and What it Costs'. You'll be asked what date the change happened, and you'll need to enter either 1 or 5 April 2021, depending on which applies.
Claiming Universal Credit may seem daunting but our team is here to support you. Have a look at Kathy's story in this short animation.
Claiming Universal Credit
Before you make a claim for Universal Credit, you should make sure that it's the right benefit for you by contacting our UC support team.
If you've already made a claim but not received your first payment, please contact the team who can support you.
- You will need to make and manage your claim for Universal Credit online. This includes checking your payments and reporting changes
- You will need to set up an account to receive your money – this can be a bank, building society or credit union account
- You will receive payments every calendar month so you'll need to budget and manage your money for the whole month
- Your Universal Credit payment will include any help you get towards your rent and charges, so you'll need to pay your rent directly to us. Setting up a Direct Debit on the same day as your Universal Credit payment is the easiest way to pay. This means that you don’t need to remember to pay and what’s left is for the rest of your household bills and other things. For details, visit our paying rent webpage.
If you think you might be eligible or have any questions about Universal Credit, please contact us.
You can also get more information on our money advice webpages.
Help and advice
Thirteen’s team of money advisors can support you with information about Universal Credit. Find out more on our money advice pages and watch a film about how we helped one customer in Hartlepool.
The national Money Advice Service also has a really useful online tool that can give you practical advice based on your own personal circumstances. Simply follow the steps on the Money Advice Service website.
You can also find out more information at:
- the benefits calculator
- helping you understand Universal Credit
- Thirteen's Facebook page for regular live help
- the government's Universal Credit website
- a useful publication called Universal Credit and you
- Universal Credit.pdf
- video about applying for Universal Credit.
Email and internet access
You'll need internet access and an email address to apply for UC, and you can easily create an email address by visiting one of:
If you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone at home, you can find your nearest library or kiosk where you can use a computer to get online.