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About Universal Credit

Information about Universal Credit (UC)

If you are making a new claim for benefit (including help to cover rent or mortgage costs) or if you are in receipt of any of the following legacy benefits and you have certain changes in circumstances then you will have to make an application for Universal Credit. However, there is an exception to this are if you are living in supported accommodation.

If you are receiving Housing Benefit, income-based JSA, income-related ESA or Income Support, and either choose to claim Universal Credit, or a change in your circumstances means you need to claim Universal Credit instead, you may receive up to an additional 2 weeks' worth of those payments.

Please be aware that making a claim for Universal Credit will end any claims for legacy benefits that are in payment.  If you are receiving any of these benefits please seek our advice before claiming Universal Credit.

If Tax Credits is the only benefit that you are entitled to and you have a change of circumstances then you should notify HMRC and not make a claim for Universal Credit.  HMRC can be notified online or by phoning 0345 300 3900.

How is Universal Credit made up?

Universal Credit will be made up of a standard allowance plus five extra elements for:

  1. Children including an extra amount for any disabled child or children you have
  2. Childcare costs
  3. Being a carer
  4. Being found to have limited capability for work
  5. Housing costs

All other benefits will continue to exist. Please note that Universal Credit does not help towards Council Tax costs. If you are claiming Universal Credit and are liable for Council Tax, you may qualify for Council Tax Reduction.  

You may also qualify for a Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to assist with any shortfall in your rent not met by Universal Credit.

Further information

The Money Advice Service have information on their website about Universal Credit.

Citizens Advice Scotland also have information on their website.

Last modified on 14 December 2022

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