‘Universal Credit’ is being introduced gradually as part of the government’s welfare reform changes.
It is a single benefit to replace several benefits and tax credits with a monthly payment, aimed at making it easier to take temporary or part-time work whilst claiming.
It will cover housing costs for most people removing the need to claim Housing Benefit to help with rent.
Universal Credit in Manchester
Some residents in certain areas of Manchester needing to make a new claim for benefit, including housing costs, must now do so through Universal Credit. You may be in this group if your postcode starts:
- M16 0...
- M33 3...
- WA15 0...
- WA15 7...
- WA15 8...
But for help with Council Tax Support and Free School Meals you must still claim separately using our online claim form.
There are people with the above postcodes who are not affected yet and continue to get help through Housing Benefit. You are not affected if you:
- already have a claim; or
- have three or more children; or
- live in supported accommodation; or
- are Pension Credit age.
In all postcode areas apart from those listed above you continue to claim help with rent through Housing Benefit unless:
- You are making a new claim for Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, or Child Tax Credit.
- You do not have a disability or long-term illness.
- You have a family of up to two children.
You can use this postcode checker to see whether you are in a Universal Credit area.
Claiming Universal Credit
To claim Universal Credit you can only apply online. Claim Universal Credit on gov.uk
If you need help to claim
There’s free access to the web across the city. You can get help to go online and fill in the form at job centres and many other places - but check if you need an appointment.
Take with you
- your National Insurance number
- details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
- your tenancy agreement (if you have one)
- details of your savings or other capital
- details of any income that’s not from work (an insurance plan for example)
- details of any other benefits you’re getting
Remember, you might also need these details for your partner and other people who live in your home.
You can find out more about Universal Credit at www.gov.uk/universal-credit