Universal Credit and you

This document gives an introduction to Universal Credit for people who are claiming it.



This guide explains:

  • Universal Credit full service and live service
  • your responsibilities while claiming Universal Credit
  • sanctions you could face if you do not meet your responsibilities
  • how, when and where Universal Credit is paid
  • how you can be better off in work
  • help to become self-employed
  • help with childcare costs
  • help with housing costs
Published 27 February 2017
Last updated 19 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Alternative payment arrangements information updated.
  2. Updated to show that Universal Credit is now available everywhere in Great Britain.
  3. Universal Credit live service telephone helpline opening hours changed to 9am to 4pm.
  4. Help to Save scheme information added and reporting changes content updated.
  5. Attachments updated to support the April budget changes.
  6. Removed references to waiting days - this is because the wait for payment has been reduced from 6 to 5 weeks.
  7. Universal Credit content updated with new information about advance payments.
  8. Revised due to the ongoing roll out of Universal Credit full service, this means live service areas stopped taking new claims from 1 January 2018.
  9. Revised Universal Credit helpline telephone numbers and information about hardship payments.
  10. First published.