Universal Credit guides

Information about how Universal Credit is paid and the support it provides for people who are on a low income or out of work.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit supports people who are on a low income or out of work, and helps ensure that they are better off in work than on benefits.

This short film gives an introduction to Universal Credit, including:

  • how it helps to make work pay
  • the support claimants get
  • what’s expected in return

Introduction to Universal Credit

An introduction to Universal Credit – a guide to help prepare future claimants for the changes that Universal Credit brings

Where is Universal Credit available?

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can make a new claim will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Find jobcentre areas where you can claim Universal Credit.

Find out when local authorities and jobcentre areas will move to the Universal Credit full service.

How Universal Credit works

Universal Credit and you – an introduction to how Universal Credit works

Different earning patterns and your payments – information about how these may affect your Universal Credit payment

Work allowances – information about how much you may be able to earn before your Universal Credit payment is affected

Information for couples – what Universal Credit means for people who make a joint claim as a couple

Information for families – what Universal Credit means for families

Families with more than 2 children: information for claimants – Information about the 2 child limit

Two child limit under Universal Credit flowcharts (PDF, 305KB, 6 pages)

Self-employment – the support Universal Credit offers for claimants who run their own business

If you have a disability or health condition – support that is available for Universal Credit claimants who have a disability or health condition

Housing costs – the support towards housing costs that Universal Credit offers

Your Claimant Commitment – what is expected in return for receiving Universal Credit

Other benefits and Universal Credit

Other support you may be entitled to if you receive Universal Credit

Help with managing your money – budgeting support available through DWP and other organisations

Help with moving from benefits to work – help for specific problems

Employers’ information about Universal Credit

There are also a range of guides aimed at employers that explain how Universal Credit works and how it can support your employees and workers.

How Universal Credit helps your employees and workers – this information can help you answer any questions your employees and workers may have about Universal Credit

Universal Credit for HR and payroll staff – explains the changes and benefits Universal Credit brings for recruiters, HR managers and payroll staff

Frequently asked questions from employers – compiled from questions asked by employers and SMEs

Landlords’ information about Universal Credit

Universal Credit may include money towards housing costs. Claimants will have to arrange to pay their rent direct to their landlord if they don’t do this already.

Rented housing and Universal Credit – what Universal Credit means for landlords and tenants

Tax credits and Universal Credit

Universal Credit claimants cannot receive Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time.

Tax credits and Universal Credit – how Universal Credit affects tax credits claimants

Technical information about how tax credit debt is affected by the move to Universal Credit and what claimants need to do

Illustrated guides

Illustrated information about Universal Credit and how it supports claimants

Universal Credit visual identity

Universal Credit has its own visual identity which we have designed for use by our partners. To indicate the significant role you will have to play in supporting the implementation of Universal Credit, we have created a ‘Working with Universal Credit’ logo you can use alongside your own branding.

You can access logos and guidelines through the DWP Communication Centre. You will need to register if you haven’t used the centre before. As part of registration, you will need to provide contact details of a DWP sponsor who can support your request.

Published 21 March 2013
Last updated 29 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. Published a revised version of the 2 child limit flowchart.
  2. Added flowchart explaining the 2 child limit to Universal Credit claims.
  3. Added information about the 2 child limit for claimants.
  4. Added information about differnet earnings patterns and how these may affect Universal Credit payments.
  5. Removed guides for people claiming Universal Credit in Croydon, Hounslow, Musselburgh, Southwark and Sutton. This information is now included in other guides on this page.
  6. Amended link text to include Hounslow due to digital service rollout.
  7. Updated with the latest information about Universal Credit, including links to illustrated guides and videos.
  8. Published revised version of 'James is better off for every extra hour he works with Universal Credit' video.
  9. New short film added - Universal Credit: managing your money - that introduces the support that’s available with Universal Credit to help you manage your money.
  10. Added Universal Credit and families guides, these are: Universal Credit and your family, How Universal Credit supports families, Universal Credit and families questions and answers and Claimant journey for families
  11. Updated to provide the latest information about Universal Credit, including 3 new publications - 'Managing Universal Credit payments', 'Prepare for Universal Credit payments' and 'Universal Credit and couples questions and answers'.
  12. Added new guide 'How Universal Credit helps make work pay'.
  13. Updated to provide the latest information about Universal Credit. Also added 3 new 'Universal Credit and couples' publications - 'an introduction', 'the claimant journey' and 'the stages in making a joint claim'.
  14. Added 1 PDF: 'How Universal Credit can help your business'.
  15. Published new version of 'James is better off for every extra hour he works with Universal Credit' video, updated with the 2014 to 2015 benefit rates.
  16. Added 2 new PDF's, 'How Universal Credit helps to make work pay by topping up earnings' and 'How Universal Credit helps to make work pay'.
  17. Added "Introduction to Universal Credit" video
  18. Added video giving an employer's view of Universal Credit
  19. Published guidance on Universal Credit and rented housing.
  20. link added to new video for 'James claims Universal Credit'
  21. Page and quick guides updated to reflect recent changes to where Universal Credit is available
  22. Added a link to a list of information that claimants need to have ready before they start their claim for Universal Credit.
  23. Announcement that the Claimant Commitment approach used for Universal Credit will be extended to new claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  24. Minor amendments to "Claiming Universal Credit", "Universal Credit claim journey" and the Universal Credit illustration "James checks his eligibility to claim Universal Credit in the Pathfinder" to reflect extension of the pathfinder to Oldham and Warrington.
  25. Removed link to sample press release publication.
  26. Added back link to sample press release.
  27. Removed link to sample press article for re-use in media channels.
  28. Videos of 3 'illustrations' showing 'James' checking if he is eligible to claim Universal Credit, claiming Universal Credit and finding out he is better off under Universal Credit for every extra hour he works.
  29. Information about how to access and use th Universal Credit visual identity added.
  30. Two videos published showing how Gary and Bianca found a job. Three illustrations published featuring ‘James’ as he checks his Universal Credit eligibility, makes a Universal Credit claim, and starts work.
  31. Updated to take account of the start of the Universal Credit Pathfinder.
  32. First published.