Find out when and if Universal Credit affects you
Some Gateshead residents will have to apply for a new government benefit called Universal Credit.
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working 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. If you are part of a couple, one of whom is of pension age and one of whom is of working age, you would claim Universal Credit. The exception to this is if the younger member of the couple is receiving income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support, in which case you would be able to claim housing benefit. 16- and 17-year-olds could also receive it in certain limited circumstances.
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 partway 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 visit the Gov.uk website or contact the Universal Credit service centre on 0800 328 5644. This is a free service.
Understanding Universal Credit provides information for
- people who want to make a claim
- people who have already claimed
- organisations who advise people about Universal Credit
How do I get help with my Council Tax if I am on a low income?
Getting ready for Universal Credit
The government has produced a Universal Credit Planner. This will help you identify any changes you may need to make so you can manage your Universal Credit claim.
You can also visit Universal Credit in Action's Youtube channel for some explanatory videos.