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
Universal Credit: an introduction – 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 claim will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.
It is available to single people nationally and to couples and families in some areas of the country.
Jobcentre areas where couples and families can claim Universal Credit – areas where you may be able to claim Universal Credit
How Universal Credit works
Universal Credit welcome guide - an introduction to how Universal Credit works
Universal Credit claimant journey – what you can expect when you make a Universal Credit claim
Universal Credit: different earning patterns and your payments – information about different earnings patterns and how these may affect your Universal Credit payment
Universal Credit work allowances – information about work allowances from April 2016
Universal Credit: further information for couples – what Universal Credit means for people who make a joint claim as a couple
Universal Credit: further information for families – what Universal Credit means for families
Universal Credit and self-employment – the support Universal Credit offers for claimants who run their own business
Universal Credit if you have a disability or health condition – support that is available for Universal Credit claimants who have a disability or health condition
Universal Credit and your home – the support towards housing costs that Universal Credit offers
Universal Credit and your Claimant Commitment – what is expected in return for receiving Universal Credit
Universal Credit and other benefits
Universal Credit Personal Planner – this can help you prepare for any changes to the way to claim your benefits
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
Universal Credit for employers
Find out how Universal Credit can help your business
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.
Universal Credit: how it 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
Universal Credit for landlords
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.
Universal Credit and rented housing – what Universal Credit means for landlords and tenants
Universal Credit and tax credits
Universal Credit claimants cannot receive Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time.
Universal Credit and tax credits – 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
Videos and illustrated guides
Universal Credit videos explain how Universal Credit works and how it supports claimants
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
Updated: 23 September 2016
- Added information about differnet earnings patterns and how these may affect Universal Credit payments.
- 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.
- Amended link text to include Hounslow due to digital service rollout.
- Updated with the latest information about Universal Credit, including links to illustrated guides and videos.
- Published revised version of 'James is better off for every extra hour he works with Universal Credit' video.
- 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.
- 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
- 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'.
- Added new guide 'How Universal Credit helps make work pay'.
- 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'.
- Added 1 PDF: 'How Universal Credit can help your business'.
- 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.
- 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'.
- Added "Introduction to Universal Credit" video
- Added video giving an employer's view of Universal Credit
- Published guidance on Universal Credit and rented housing.
- link added to new video for 'James claims Universal Credit'
- Page and quick guides updated to reflect recent changes to where Universal Credit is available
- Added a link to a list of information that claimants need to have ready before they start their claim for Universal Credit.
- Announcement that the Claimant Commitment approach used for Universal Credit will be extended to new claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- 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.
- Removed link to sample press release publication.
- Added back link to sample press release.
- Removed link to sample press article for re-use in media channels.
- 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.
- Information about how to access and use th Universal Credit visual identity added.
- 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.
- Updated to take account of the start of the Universal Credit Pathfinder.
- First published.