Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age who are on a low income or out of work.  It is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces:

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

Universal Credit is paid out in arrears in a single monthly household payment direct to a bank, building society or credit union account.  People have to apply online, it will take around five to six weeks to receive their first payment from the DWP.

Note – Universal Credit does NOT include help with paying your Council Tax, and a separate application for help needs to be made to the Council.

You can apply for help with Council Tax online

From June 2018 new claims to Universal Credit will become available to most people whether they are in or out of work. It will include couples, families, and households with sickness or disabilities. This wider rollout of Universal Credit is known as 'full service'.


You can apply for Universal Credit online


To get more information and advice about claiming Universal Credit please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit or watch the Universal Credit YouTube videos.

If you know someone who needs help or advice because of the change to Universal Credit, they can get it here:

  • For more information on Universal Credit and to apply online visit the Understanding Universal Credit website. The website has also been updated with a new landlord section containing lots of handy tips and facts to support landlords with tenants who are claiming Universal Credit.
  • Cornwall Council benefits - to find out about applying for Council Tax Support and discretionary housing payments.
  • For help getting online or making a new claim for Universal Credit ring Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 121, option 5.  Work coaches at Jobcentres can also provide advice about local IT training opportunities.
  • Cornwall Housing – help and advice for Council tenants.  Most other social landlords provide similar support for their tenants