Universal Credit

Universal Credit – What is it?

Universal Credit (UC) replaces six common benefits paid to people between 18 and state pension age, including:

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

Put simply, if you receive any of the benefits listed , you get one payment into your bank account, rather than a single payment for each.


The initial claim will have to be made online.

If you need help completing the application process for UC, staff at Job Centres, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations will be able to help.

You can also access help on gov.uk, or contact us if you'd like to speak to us about Universal Credit.

Universal Credit helper

If you're making a claim for Universal Credit and don't know where to start, we've got a really handy guide for you. Our Universal Credit helper is a simple step-by-step guide on how to apply, what each stage of your claim means, and the information you'll need to have for every stage. If you need further help, give us a call on 01494 476 100.

UC will consist of a single, monthly payment which is paid in arrears and directly into your bank account.

Couples living in the same household will receive one monthly payment between them.

Households will then be responsible for managing their own rent payments.

Along with the assessment period of one month, you may also need to allow for a further 14 days' delay (seven days either side of the assessment period):

  • One month assessment period
  • Seven-day payment period for administration purposes before you receive your first UC payment

Important: Consider putting money aside and topping up your rent account in advance to tide you over this five-to-six-week delay until your first Universal Credit payment arrives.

In exceptional circumstances, yes, more frequent payments is one of the Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA) that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will consider if you are having difficulty budgeting. APAs are temporary solutions for six months. You should contact DWP/Job Centre for personal budgeting support.

Possibly. If you have significant support needs, an APA may be set up. This could involve either:

  • Rent paid directly to Red Kite
  • More frequent payments
  • Splitting the payment within the household

DWP staff will consider information from both tenants and landlords before taking a decision to set up an APA.

We're here to help and can put you in touch with the right support if you're experiencing financial difficulties.

Please contact us or visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit.