New to Universal Credit

1. Is it for me?

Who can get Universal Credit

Whether you can claim Universal Credit depends on your circumstances and where you live.

Your circumstances

You can apply for Universal Credit if you are on a low income or unemployed.

You will usually only be able to claim Universal Credit if you are aged 18 or over, but some people aged 16 or 17 can get it, depending on their circumstances.

And you usually won’t be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re in full-time education or training, but people with certain circumstances can still apply.

Read the detailed guidance on eligibility and Universal Credit and students to find out more.

You can use a benefits calculator to help you understand what benefits you could get. You will be asked to enter information about your circumstances, and it will tell you which benefits you might be able to apply for. One of those might be Universal Credit.

Where you live

The Citizens Advice eligibility checker will tell you if you live in an area where you can claim Universal Credit. Using this link will take you to the Citizens Advice website.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages, so even if you can’t claim Universal Credit now, it may become available in your area in the future.

If you want to go straight to making a claim for Universal Credit visit gov.uk/universal-credit

If you live in Northern Ireland go to Universal Credit in Northern Ireland

What Universal Credit replaces

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you are already claiming these benefits or tax credits you don’t need to do anything now. The Department for Work and Pensions will get in touch with you before there are any changes to your benefits or tax credits.

If you receive these benefits or tax credits and your circumstances change in a way that would have meant you would make a new claim to one of these benefits, you will now need to claim Universal Credit instead.

If you are receiving any of these benefits or tax credits they will stop if you make a Universal Credit claim.

If you are getting tax credits you can still choose to apply for Universal Credit, depending on your circumstances, but if you do all your benefits that Universal Credit replaces will stop.

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