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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces these benefits and tax credits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

You cannot usually get any of these benefits or tax credits separately if you get Universal Credit. If you are already claiming at least one of these benefits or tax credits and your circumstances do not change, the DWP will transfer you onto Universal Credit at a later date.

If you are not in one of the groups who are able to claim Housing Benefit (see our page Apply for Housing Benefit) you will need to claim for assistance with your rent through Universal Credit

How to apply

Universal Credit is claimed and managed online:

Apply for Universal Credit

How we can help

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. We are able to help with:

  • Financial advice – call 01594 812531 and ask to speak to a Client Support Office or email [email protected] with your query.
  • Council Tax Support to help people with their Council Tax bill.
  • Discretionary Housing Payments to help people receiving Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit but are struggling to pay their rent or need help with moving costs or rent in advance.

Support managing your account online

If you are not confident using the internet there is a range of support available to you:

  • The Forest CAB provides digital support for any Universal Credit customer who requires assistance. You should ask your Work Coach when attending interviews at the Job Centre about a referral to this service
  • Gloucestershire’s Adult Education team has designed courses tailored specifically to help you manage your Universal Credit account
  • Learn My Way provides a number of free courses, tutorials on using a computer, browsing the web, using email and finding work online.

External support agencies

For further help see our list of external support agencies.