Universal Credit: What you need to know

Universal Credit (UC) is a Government payment to help support you with your living costs if you are on a low income or out of work. It replaces a number of legacy benefits including Housing Benefit, with one single monthly payment for your household. Find more information here.


Most of our tenants who claim benefits and are under pensionable age, will need to make a claim for Universal Credit. 


Universal Credit is expected to replace legacy benefits by 2024. In the meantime, if you’re receiving legacy benefits then you’ll stay on them unless you have a change of circumstance such as moving house, becoming unemployed or splitting up with a partner. 


The amount included for rent in your Universal Credit payment gets paid straight to you. This means that you will be responsible for paying your rent on time.


Universal Credit does not include Council Tax Reduction, you must apply for this separately through your local Revenue and Benefit Office. You can apply for a council tax reduction online here.


How to apply for Universal Credit 


You need to apply for Universal Credit online which you can by clicking here.


If you need support with making a claim, Citizens Advice provide a free 'Help to Claim’ service. This includes:

  • filling in the application form,
  • collecting relevant evidence,
  • preparing you for your first Jobcentre appointment
  • checking your first payment is correct.


You can access this service through their website. Alternatively, speak to an adviser by calling 0800 144 8444.


You can read their online advice on Universal Credit at any time.


  • You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You don't need to be married.
  • After you apply, you must contact your local Jobcentre Plus within seven days to make an appointment with a work coach.
  • Make sure you have three items of identification, preferably photo ID (passport or driving licence).
  • When you make a claim for Universal credit, you may have to wait up to five weeks before you receive any money. You can apply for an advance payment here.
  • The advance payment has to be paid back over 24 months. Before you apply for an advance payment it may be worth considering some other options, such as food or fuel vouchers. Please contact us to find out more at moneymatters@saxonweald.com


Help getting online:


If you don't have a computer at home, GetOnline@Home offer affordable and internet-ready computers if you receive certain benefits. For more information click here.


Alternatively, you can try accessing one free of charge at your local Jobcentre or your local library.


All West Sussex libraries have free Wi-Fi, as well as computers with internet access, email services and Microsoft office applications. For more information click here.




How will Universal Credit be paid to me?


It will be paid monthly in arrears into your bank account, so you will need a bank account, building society account or a similar account with a provider such as a credit union. Make sure you can pay your rent and other bills from that account.


Budget planners can help you work out how much money you have each month and help you keep track of where spend it. Money Helper has a budget calculator that could help.


It might be a good idea for you to open a separate bank account to receive your Universal Credit payment. This way, your payment won't be mixed up with your current cash.


How can I pay my rent to Saxon Weald?


The easiest way to make sure your rent is paid on time, is by setting up a standing order or Direct Debit to us on the day you receive your payment.


If you sign up to our online services, you can check your rent balance and make payments at a time that suits you.


For details of all ways to pay your rent, visit our 'ways to pay' section on our website.


If you don't pay your full rent on time, you could end up losing your home.


Find out if you're missing out on financial help by using the benefits calculator to work out your possible entitlements. 


Further information and advice can be found on the government website www.gov.uk or by emailing our Money Matters team: moneymatters@saxonweald.com.