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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now.

Universal Credit is a new working-age benefit being introduced gradually across the country as part of the government’s welfare reforms. This applies to all working age people in the Lancaster City Council.

You may be able to claim Universal Credit instead of certain benefits if you’re on a low income or out of work. 

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

If you’re already claiming benefits, your local Jobcentre Plus or Tax Credits office will tell you when you have to move to Universal Credit.

However, for new claims, or if you have a change in your circumstances that would mean you claiming one of the benefits listed above or changing from one benefit to another, you will have to claim Universal Credit instead. You will no longer be able to claim Housing Benefit and we will need to cancel it from the date that you claim Universal Credit.

You will still need to apply for Council Tax Support from Lancaster City Council. You will need to provide us with your Universal Credit letter when you first receive it and provide the letter every time the award changes.

How Universal Credit is different

Universal Credit is paid differently to current benefits. You'll get a single payment for your household and it'll be paid once a month into your bank or building society account. If your Universal Credit payment includes rent you'll need to pay this to your landlord. For more information on what this means see

How to claim Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit online at

If you don’t have access to the internet you can visit your local Jobcentre or Lancaster and Morecambe town halls.

Your application will take around 30-40 minutes. Please make sure you have the following information before you start your online application:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • your email address
  • your mobile telephone number
  • details of the bank or building society you want Universal Credit paid into
  • your rent agreement (if you have one) and proof of rent paid
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • details of any children, including their Child Benefit numbers

Supported accommodation

If you live in supported accommodation when you go onto Universal Credit they will pay your personal element (this replaces the old DWP benefit). However, you will still claim Housing Benefit from Lancaster City Council to help with your rent.

Last updated: 25 February 2020

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