‘Universal Credit’ is being introduced gradually across the country as part of the government’s welfare reform changes.
It is a single benefit which will eventually replace several unemployment and low-income benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment and is designed to make it easier to take temporary or part-time work while claiming.
For lots of people it will also cover housing costs, eventually removing the need for most people to make a separate claim for Housing Benefit to help with rent.
Universal Credit in Manchester
From 19 July 2017 some residents in certain postcode areas of Manchester no longer get help with their rent from Housing Benefit. You may be in this group if your postcode begins with one of these:
- M33 3...
- WA15 0...
- WA15 7...
- WA15 8...
If you need to make a new claim for benefits, including help with housing costs, you must now claim through Universal Credit.
Some people in these postcode areas are not affected. You will continue to get help with your rent through Housing Benefit if:
- you already have a claim; or
- you have three or more children; or
- you live in supported accommodation; or
- you are Pension Credit age.
If you are affected and must claim help with rent through Universal Credit, please be aware that it will not help with Council Tax or school meals. You must claim separately for these using our online claim form.
Manchester residents in all other postcode areas - you still only claim Universal Credit if you meet these conditions:
- You are making a new claim for a relevant benefit. If you already get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, or Child Tax Credit you are not affected at the moment .
- You do not have a disability or long-term illness.
- You are a single jobseeker without dependants; but
- residents in some areas of Manchester do not have to be single without dependants. You can claim Universal Credit if you live with a partner or have children. Check which areas of Manchester this rule applies to
Claiming Universal Credit
To claim Universal Credit you can only apply online.
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