How to claim universal credit
Help with rent
You can usually get universal credit (UC) if you or a partner you live with:
are working age
have a low household income or no money coming in
You must meet immigration conditions.
If you need money right now
You have to wait at least 5 weeks before you get any money unless you ask for an advance.
A universal credit advance is paid back out of future UC payments.
If you already get housing benefit
You can stay on housing benefit unless:
you decide to claim UC
the DWP says you are being moved onto UC
a change in your circumstances, like moving house, means your housing benefit ends
The DWP want to move most working age people onto UC by April 2025.
If you get income related ESA it might happen later.
Your housing benefit usually stops if you claim UC.
Find out more about moving from housing benefit to universal credit.
Choosing to switch to UC
Some people are better off on UC.
It depends on your situation and which benefits you get.
Be aware that:
the amount you get might go up or down
not everyone who qualifies for tax credits can get UC
you may have to meet more conditions to get UC – such as looking for work or going to the jobcentre more often
You can check how much you could get with a benefits calculator.
Last updated: 5 April 2023