Universal credit: How to claim


Universal credit or housing benefit?

Most people must apply for universal credit when making a new benefits claim to help with rent and other living costs.

You can still make a new claim for housing benefit if any of the following apply:
  • you - and your partner if you live with them - are pension age
  • you get other benefits which include a severe disability premium
  • you're staying in a refuge, hostel or some types of supported or temporary housing

Mixed age couples

From 15 May 2019, you can't usually make a new housing benefit claim unless you're both pension age. Most mixed age couples have to claim universal credit instead. 

If one of you reached pension age before this date, you can still make a backdated claim for housing benefit. You must apply by 13 August 2019.

If you already get housing benefit

You can continue to receive this unless a change in your situation means you have to make a new claim for universal credit instead.

'Universal credit has replaced several older benefits'

Our housing adviser Kate tells you which benefits have been replaced by universal credit.


Last updated 15 May 2019 | © Shelter

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