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Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a means tested benefit for working age people. It is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces the following six benefits:

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

For more information about Universal Credit visit GOV.UK.

How will I know I need to claim Universal Credit?

If you need help paying your rent, you can claim Universal Credit unless you: 

  • live in temporary accommodation
  • live in supported accommodation
  • have more than two children
  • are of state pension age

If any of these apply, you should claim Housing Benefit instead.

Getting ready for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is administered online. You must have an account into which your payments can be made.

When you receive Universal Credit, you will need to think more carefully about how you will budget your money. This is because you may have previously received one payment for your rent (your housing benefit) and a separate payment for your living costs. With Universal Credit you will be receiving just one monthly payment and you will be responsible for paying your rent from this payment.

For further information about this, refer to GOV.UK.

Help with making a Universal Credit claim

If you need help making a Universal Credit claim online or managing your online account, you can visit your local Jobcentre Plus office for assistance. They have staff available to help you.

If you’re able to make a Universal Credit claim online and can manage the account yourself but need access to a computer, you can visit one of our four hub libraries.

If you make a Universal Credit claim and have recently transferred from Housing Benefit, you will receive a two week transitional payment.

Claimant Commitment

When you claim Universal Credit you will be asked to sign a Claimant Commitment. Make sure you inform your work coach of any changes that may affect your claim.

If you do not keep to the commitment you have made, your Universal Credit payments may be stopped.

Advance payments

If you have not got enough money whilst you are waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you should contact your work coach or call the DWP’s Universal Credit helpline.

Hardship payments

You can apply to the DWP for a hardship payment if your Universal Credit claim is sanctioned. Any money you receive as a hardship payment must be paid back from your future Universal Credit payments.

Housing rent payments

If your tenancy is managed by Enfield Council and you start to receive Universal Credit, your housing costs will be included in your Universal Credit payment. You will need to pay all the rent you are charged out of this payment.

If you're experiencing difficulties in paying your rent, contact us and we will do our best to help you. Call us on 020 8379 1000 or send us an email. Make sure you include your name, address, payment reference and a contact telephone number.