Where is Universal Credit available?

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages by postcode area. There are currently two types of system; the full service and the live service.

Full Service

Universal Credit full service is only available in certain areas of England, Wales and Scotland. In these areas you cannot make a new claim for any of the old means tested benefits such as ESA or Housing Benefit.  The full service is being introduced gradually and this process is due to be completed by December 2018. In full service areas all Universal Credit claims will be managed online.

Live Service 

Since 1 January 2018 you cannot make a new claim for Universal Credit if you live in a live service area.  Before 31 December 2017 you could make a claim for Universal Credit in these areas but this has now ended. If you claimed Universal Credit in a live service area before 31 December 2017, you will remain on Universal Credit and can manage your claim by phone.

If you need to claim for means tested benefits in a live service area, you'll be directed to claim other benefits, such as ESA and Housing Benefit, rather than Universal Credit. This will happen until the full service is available in your area.

These postcode checkers will tell you what service is available in your area:

After the full digital service becomes available across England, Wales and Scotland by December 2018, the government will then begin migrating all remaining existing benefit claimants to Universal Credit. This part of the process is intended to be completed by 2022.

For further information and advice about Universal Credit and applying for it contact our Helpline:


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