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Find out when and if Universal Credit affects you

From October 2017 some Gateshead residents will have to apply for a new government benefit called Universal Credit.

This replaces:

  • Income Support
  • Income related Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Anyone who would have made a new claim for these benefits will need to claim Universal Credit. 

Please note if you want help towards paying your Council Tax, you still need to apply to the council for Council Tax Support

Who should and should not claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a 'working age' benefit payable to those aged 18 up to 'pension credit qualifying age'. Check your state pension age. 16 and 17 year olds could also receive it in certain limited circumstances.

You cannot claim Universal Credit at all if: 

  • you have more than two children

You can claim Universal Credit towards your daily living needs only, but need to claim Housing Benefit from the council for help towards your rent if:

  • you live in exempt supported accommodation.
  • you have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council

If you have moved part way through your Universal Credit assessment period, you will not get any help through Universal Credit for that period towards the rent for the property you have moved out of. This may leave you with rent arrears. If you need to, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment  to cover this period.

For more information please check Universal Credit or contact the Universal Credit service centre on 0800 328 5644. This is a free service.

As Universal Credit is based on jobcentre locations which cover different postcodes, it will affect different parts of Gateshead at different times. 

Visit Understanding Universal Credit which provides information to 

  • people who want to make a claim;
  • people who have already claimed;
  • organisations who advise people about Universal Credit.
Postcode roll out dates
Central Gateshead  11 October 2017

NE8 - 1, 2, 3, and 4
NE9 - 5, 6 and 7
NE10 - 8, 9 and 0
NE11 - 9 and 0
NE16 - 3, 4, 5 and 6
DH3 - 1

Blaydon  1 November 2017 NE21 - 4, 5 and 6
NE39 - 1 and 2
NE40 - 3 and 4
NE41 - 8
Consett and Stanley 13 December 2017 NE16 - 6
NE17 - 7
Chester Le Street June 2018 (date to be confirmed) DH2 - 1
DH3 - 2 
Hexham 26 September 2018 NE42 - 5

How do I get help with my Council Tax if I am on a low income?

Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax Support. We still deal with reductions to your Council Tax if you have a low income. Visit Council Tax Support to apply.

Getting ready for Universal Credit 

The Government has produced 

If you don't meet the criteria for Universal Credit you should still apply for Housing Benefit