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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 

Universal credit claims and penalties

Information on how to claim universal credit 

Calculating universal credit

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

How universal credit is paid

Universal credit is normally made as one payment each month into a claimant's bank account. The DWP does have the power to alter this arrangement 

Universal credit deductions to repay debt

DWP can make deductions from a person's benefit and use the deduction to claim back money owed to them, or to make repayments to another creditor who applies for a third party deduction. 

Changes in circumstances

It is a claimant's responsibility to report changes of circumstances to DWP. A change will affect benefit from the first day of an assessment period. 

Recovery of universal credit overpayments

All payments of universal credit are recoverable and can be taken from ongoing entitlement. 

Universal credit claimant commitment

The ‘claimant commitment’ condition for universal credit claimants. 

Universal credit payment condition

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

Universal credit 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. 

Universal credit occupation condition

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

Revoked 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. 

Universal credit size-related criteria

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

Universal credit non-dependant deductions

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

Universal credit for owner-occupiers

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

Claimant challenges to UC decisions

How to challenge a universal credit decision 

Transitional protection for universal credit claimants

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

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