Confused? We’re here to help

Universal Credit is a major government change which was initially introduced across Wakefield in April 2016. The UC Full Service then rolled out across the district from 28th November 2018. Most individuals eligible to claim Universal Credit should be moved over to the new benefit by 2025.

If you are on a low income and claiming benefits then Universal Credit is going to change the way you receive your money.

With Universal Credit you will need to budget your money on a monthly basis – and Cash Wise is here to help.

Top Tips

  1. Try out the Cash Wise budget calculator
  2. You need a mobile phone, email address and bank account to apply
  3. Support is available

Universal Credit replaces six working age benefits with a single monthly payment similar to a monthly working wage. The six benefits replaced are:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credits (WTC)
  • Housing Benefit (HB)

People of pension age will not be affected. If you are unsure of when you will reach Pension Credit age, the GOV.UK website provides a useful state pension calculator.

Can I Claim Universal Credit?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if:

  • You are unemployed
  • You are on a low income
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You (and your partner) are under state pension age
  • You have less than £16,000 in savings

UC is paid directly to one member of the household into a bank, building society or credit union account once per month.

If you need any help with your Universal Credit claim, contact Cash Wise.

What are the key features of Universal Credit?

  • Universal Credit (UC) payments will reduce gradually as earnings increase so people won’t lose all their benefits at once.
  • If you are entitled to the housing costs element of UC you will receive this as part of your monthly payment. This is different to Housing Benefit as it is your responsibility to pay your rent to WDH each month under UC.
  • If you are required to make a claim for UC, then the first stage is to make an online claim. As part of this process you will have to verify your identity on Gov.UK Verify. You will need to manage your claim through the customer journal.
  • When you make a claim, you will be asked to input your personal details including your National Insurance Number. You will also need to inform the DWP who your landlord is and provide information about your tenancy.
  • UC is digital by design, so no paper forms will be available. You will require a bank account, mobile phone and email address to apply. Support will be available for those who are unable to use or access the internet.
  • The second stage is to go to a face-to-face interview at a Jobcentre Plus office with a Work Coach.
  • You may have to wait up to 5 weeks for your first payment.
  • You may be eligible for an advance payment to help you while you wait, this must be paid back through deductions from your monthly payment.

How Much Universal Credit Will I Receive?

Universal credit is made up of a basic allowance plus different payments for housing costs, children, caring, sickness or disability if you are eligible. The amount of Universal Credit you are entitled to can change every month depending on any other income you may have.

For more information on Universal Credit or to make a claim, visit: