Essential maintenance

All customer accounts and most forms will be unavailable from 4pm on Saturday 2 December until Sunday 3 December.


Benefits and support Universal Credit

Universal Credit is gradually replacing these benefits for most working-age people:

  • Housing Benefit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support

You usually claim Universal Credit online. If you need help with this you can call the Universal Credit helpline free on 0800 328 5644.

You can also ring Citizens Advice on their freephone 'Help to Claim' line: 0800 144 8444. They can help you online as well at

There are places with free internet and help to claim across the city.


If you can't wait five weeks for your first payment of Universal Credit it is possible to apply for a repayable advance

Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) can help you to manage your money. It's available at Jobcentre Plus offices and at Shelter's Hub: ring Shelter on 0344 515 1681 for more information. Calls may cost more from mobiles.

Help with your housing costs

Working-age people - you usually get this in with Universal Credit. But if you live in supported or temporary accommodation you need to claim Housing Benefit to help with housing costs .

Pension-age people - you either claim help with housing costs from Universal Credit or from Housing Benefit - it depends on your circumstances.

Help with your Council Tax

Universal Credit does not help with Council Tax. Anyone who needs help with Council Tax must claim Council Tax Support.

More detail about Universal Credit

Claim Universal Credit on



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