Universal Credit

Universal Credit replaces six existing benefits with a single monthly payment and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income.

This means that if you live in Runnymede and need help paying your rent, you will need to claim Universal Credit, unless you:

  • have reached State Pension age
  • live in supported accommodation
  • live in temporary accommodation

If you do fall into one of these categories, you will need to claim Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is administered and paid by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It replaces these six benefits:

All other benefits will remain unchanged.

You can find more information on Universal Credit at GOV.UK

Apply

You need to claim Universal Credit on GOV.UK

Council Tax Support

If you qualify for Universal Credit then you may also be able to get Council Tax Support

How you'll be paid Universal Credit

Universal Credit is paid once a month into your bank or building society account.

Any help you get for the payment of your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and then you'll have to pay your landlord.

Please read online the Department of Work and Pensions' Universal Credit: guide to managing payments.

How to prepare for Universal Credit

  1. Set up a bank or building society account if you don't already have one, or join a credit union such as BOOM Credit Union

  2. Check if your account is suitable for managing benefit payments on the Money Advice Service website.

  3. Make sure you budget on a monthly rather than weekly basis.

  4. Set up automated bill payments to pay rent to your landlord (see below).

  5. Work out how much money you'll have coming in each month and what you need to spend it on.  

  6. You will have to claim and manage your Universal Credit account online. See UK Online Centres for details of where to get online for free. Council staff at the Civic Centre can also help you apply.

Receiving payments

You will receive your Universal Credit payments monthly in arrears into your bank account.

When you receive Universal Credit, you will need to think more carefully about how you will budget your money.

In the past you would have probably received one payment for your rent (your housing benefit) and a separate payment for your living costs. As your Universal Credit will be paid monthly, you will need to pay all your bills, including your rent, from this payment.

You can use a budgeting calculator to help you manage your money.

How to pay your landlord

Money to help with your rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. You'll then need to pay your landlord the rent in full.

We would advise you to set up automated payments, such as a Standing Order, to pay your landlord on the day you get your Universal Credit payment.

If you have a credit union account or a prepaid card account, check you can set up automated payments. If you can't, check the Money Advice Service website to find a different provider.

If you have a Post Office card account, you won't be able to set up automatic payments.

More information

You can find information on universal credit contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.