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Universal credit

This content applies to England

Information about universal credit.

Universal credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working age. It replaces a number of pre-existing benefits and includes specific elements, such as housing costs and childcare, that are paid depending on the personal circumstances of the claimant.

Overview of universal credit

An overview of universal credit including information about its administration and roll out. 

Eligibility for universal credit

A survey of the categories of claimant entitled to universal credit and exceptions to the rules 

Making a claim for universal credit

Information on how to claim universal credit 

How to calculate universal credit

How universal credit is calculated including components of the benefit and the treatment of income. 

Payment of universal credit

How universal credit is paid. 

Claimant commitment

The ‘claimant commitment’ condition for universal credit claimants. 

Housing costs element: payment condition

The housing cost element under universal credit can be claimed for rent payments, mortgage interest payments and service charges. 

Housing costs element: liability condition

To be eligible for the housing costs element of universal credit the claimant must be liable to make the payments in respect of the accommodation. 

Housing costs element: occupation condition

The circumstances under which a claimant is treated as occupying the home. 

Housing costs element: 18 to 21 year olds condition

Entitlement to the housing costs element of universal credit for 18-21 year-old claimants in a full digital service area. 

Calculating the housing costs element: size-related criteria

The calculation of the housing costs element under universal credit for claimants who are renting. 

Calculating the housing costs element: non-dependant deductions

The ‘housing cost contribution’ that is deducted from a claimant’s housing cost element when a non-dependant lives with them. 

Housing costs: owner-occupiers

Owner occupiers may receive help with the interest on loans secured on their home through a government 'support for mortgage interest' loan. 

Challenging universal credit decisions

How to challenge a universal credit decision 

Migration and transitional protection

Transitional protection for claimants who move from other benefits to universal credit. 

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