Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit and how does it work?

Universal Credit is administered and paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and replaces a number of existing benefits, including Housing benefit, for working age applicants. Find out more on the DWP website.

More information for families

Information aimed at families is available on the DWP website.

Are you a landlord?

If so, you may find it useful to look at this landlord page on the DWP website

Do I apply for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit?

If you are working aged, you can apply for Housing Benefit if you live in:

  1. Supported Accommodation (also known as Specified Accommodation) you can still claim Housing Benefit
  2. Temporary Accommodation, that is accommodation provided to you by the council if you are homeless

For anyone else of working age, you must apply for Universal Credit instead.

What if I already claim Housing Benefit?

If you already claim Housing Benefit and have a change in your circumstances after 20 June 2018 you may have to claim Universal Credit. You will not have to claim Universal Credit if you move to a new, rented accommodation within the Bradford district.

If you don’t have a change in circumstances you won’t be switched to Universal Credit until some time between 2020 and 2023. More details about this will be available here nearer the time.

Things you need before claiming Universal Credit

Make sure you have a bank account

To receive Universal Credit, you will need to have a bank account so that your benefit and/or salary can be paid straight into it.

There are different bank accounts available, including a basic bank account, current account, building society, Post Office or one from Bradford District Credit Union. If you want general advice on which bank account to choose, please visit the Money Advice Service website.

Make sure you have an email account

Follow our online guidance to setting up an email account.

Take the Universal Credit quiz

Take the Universal Credit quiz to find out how ready you are for Universal Credit.

Help managing your finances

Manage your money

If you need help with your planning and managing your money and Universal Credit payments, you can get help and advice on the Gov.uk website.

Debt advice

You can find local advice services on our debt advice page.

Help with Council Tax

Important - you need to know this if you apply for Universal Credit

If you are a Council Tax payer and are on a low income, you may get help with your Council Tax bill through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. To apply, you must complete a Council Tax Reduction application form.

Important: the DWP will not accept an application for Council Tax Reduction or Discretionary Housing Payments - you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.

Help with housing costs

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help with your housing costs from the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme. To apply, you must complete a Discretionary Housing Payments application form.

Important: the DWP will not accept your application for Discretionary Housing Payment - you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.

Benefits calculator

Benefits calculators can help you find out about benefits and how they may be affected if your circumstances change, for example if you start work. Please see the gov.uk website for more information. 

Help with your Universal Credit claim

Look at our Universal Credit help page for more information.