Universal Credit: further information for families

An overview of what Universal Credit means for families and what they will be expected to do in return.



This guide provides basic information about what families need to know if they make a Universal Credit claim.

It includes information about the support available and the steps that people will be expected to take when they make a Universal Credit claim as a family. It covers:

  • how Universal Credit supports families
  • the help available with childcare costs
  • what claimants will be expected to do in return for receiving Universal Credit

Part of the Universal Credit toolkit for partner organisations.

Published 28 March 2013
Last updated 15 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information about changes to Pension Credit for mixed age couples from 15 May 2019.
  2. Removed information about people over Pension Credit qualifying age published in error on 17 December 2018.
  3. Added information to section 6 about changes to the eligibility for Pension Credit and Universal Credit couple claims from 1 February 2019.
  4. Updated to show that Universal Credit is now available everywhere in Great Britain.
  5. Universal Credit live service telephone helpline opening hours changed to 9am to 4pm.
  6. Section 7 amended to add further information on capped hours.
  7. Updated guide with new 0800 freephone numbers for Universal Credit.
  8. Clarified information about reporting changes of circumstances, who can claim Universal Credit and how some people in Scotland can be paid.
  9. Updated to reflect changes to what is expected of lead carers in return for Universal Credit.
  10. Updated to reflect changes to Universal Credit from April 2016 (English only, Welsh to follow).
  11. Childcare information updated with the date that help with childcare fees increases to up to 85% under Universal Credit.
  12. Revised version (June 2015) includes information about what Universal Credit means for Kinship carers.
  13. Revised version with new information about the roll-out of Universal Credit.
  14. Revised version includes latest information about Universal Credit.
  15. Published new version of the guide.
  16. Updated to include the latest information about the expansion of Universal Credit
  17. Detail updated to include more information about the content of the document.
  18. First published.