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Universal Credit

Universal Credit was introduced by the Government to simplify the current benefit system, bringing together a range of working age benefits into one single streamlined payment.

Universal Credit replaces the following benefits for working age claimants:

  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

There are a number of differences between claiming Universal Credit and the benefits you may be used to receiving. By understanding how Universal Credit works and planning in advance, you can make the move to Universal Credit as easy as possible.

How do I get Universal Credit?

Universal Credit will be paid in one single monthly payment in arrears to you, directly into your bank or building society account. You will be responsible for managing this money and paying your bills.

Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment. It is then your responsibility to pay your rent to us. The easiest way for you to do this is by Direct Debit.

To set up a Direct Debit, please contact the Income Management Team on Freephone 0800 035 22 11 or 0300 303 8324 from mobiles. It is important that you are aware of this change as you could lose your home if you don't pay your rent.

As an Irwell Valley customer living in one of our properties, you can only make a claim for Universal Credit if a change in your circumstances means that you are now seeking work and you also meet certain ‘Gateway’ criteria. This is known as the Universal Credit ‘Live’ Service. However, the Department of Work and Pensions are changing how Universal Credit works through the introduction of a ‘full/digital’ service.

What is ‘Full/Digital’ service?

Under the ‘full/digital’ service, claimants will only be able to access their claim online through a single account; through this account claimants can make a claim, check details of payments, notify of any change in circumstances and search for a job.

How could this change affect you?

If you are currently in receipt of Universal Credit and live in one of the jobcentre areas below, please speak with your Job Centre Work Coach about moving your claim onto the new ‘full/digital’ service. If you do not transfer your claim, then it may affect your benefit payments. If you are not currently in receipt of Universal Credit but are of working age, this change may affect you should you encounter a change in your circumstances that means you need to make a new claim for Universal Credit. You may then be asked to claim through the ‘full/digital’ service.

How can you prepare for this change?

  • Get online! ‘Full/digital’ service Universal Credit claims must be applied for and managed online. You will also need an e-mail address. You can access the internet for free at your local library and they will also help you get online for the first time.
  • Open a bank account. If you only have a Post Office Card Cash Account then you will need to open a bank account to accept your Universal Credit payments. Please visit for more information on how to do this.
  • When making your online claim for Universal Credit you will be expected to prove your identity through If you cannot do this you will need to make an appointment at the Job Centre to provide proof of your identity.
  • Get help with budgeting. If you are affected by the changes above and are worried about being able to pay your rent, you should ask for advice now. If you don't pay your rent you could lose your home, so it is important that you speak to us.

We have a dedicated team that can help you. Call the Income Management team for a confidential informal chat on Freephone 0800 035 22 11 or 0300 303 8324 from mobiles

You can also find out more about Universal Credit in this short video