What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit that the Government introduced in October 2013 to replace a number of existing means-tested benefits with one single monthly payment. If you are of working age and have a low income (whether you are working or not), you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit.

The benefits being replaced by Universal Credit include:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Social Fund Budgeting loans 

Universal Credit includes a standard allowance and can include additional amounts for people with limited capability for work or for work-related activity, caring responsibilities; children; children with disabilities and housing costs.

The amount of Universal Credit is set to a maximum award, called the Benefit Cap, to include both daily living costs and housing costs.  Some people are exempt from the Benefit Cap, including if you get DLA or PIP or the support component of ESA.

Universal Credit started to be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales in October 2013 and in Northern Ireland September 2017. If your circumstances don't change you will be moved over to Universal Credit between July 2019 and March 2022.

Further information can be found on our Universal Credit webpage and in our Universal Credit factsheet: 

You can also contact our Helpline:

Did this answer your question?

Your feedback will help us to keep improving this website.

Make a donation

Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most.

Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.

Regular donation Single donation