What is it?
Universal Credit (UC) is a monthly payment to help with your housing and living costs. It has replaced Housing Benefit and a range of benefits for working age people.
Most residents in Croydon do not need to apply for housing benefit, because you can get Universal Credit, which includes money for your rent. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are responsible for administering Universal Credit.
Universal Credit includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers.
For more information on Universal Credit please visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
To see if you are entitled to Universal Credit please use the Citizens Advice eligibility checker.
How will I claim it?
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are responsible for administering Universal Credit.
Universal Credit covers housing costs for many people but not all. You will need to claim Housing Benefit to help with your rent if you:
- are entitled and remain entitled to Severe Disability Premium or
- are of state pension age or
- live in supported accommodation (hostels or sheltered housing) or
- live in temporary accommodation provided by Croydon Council
To claim Universal Credit you will need to complete an online form. You can apply at www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim.
You must claim Universal Credit as soon as you think you may have an entitlement. Your claim will only be backdated in exceptional circumstances and will only go back one month.
If you can claim Housing Benefit you will need to complete an online benefit claim form
Help with your Council Tax payments
Help with your Council Tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. If you need help with paying your Council Tax you will need to apply for Council Tax Support separately.
Can I get any additional help?
If you are struggling to pay your rent it is very important to seek advice and support as soon as possible and talk to your landlord. Failing to pay your rent can have serious consequences and you could lose your home.
Our budgeting tool may help you to manage your money so that you can pay your rent on time.
If you receive Housing Benefit from Croydon Council or the housing element of Universal Credit but still find it difficult to pay your rent you may be able to get extra help towards your housing costs in the form of a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). These are not benefit payments, but are paid in addition to your benefit and are based on your circumstances.
To apply for Discretionary Housing payment please complete a DHP application form
You can also get free and confidential advice about your debt and managing your finances help from:
- Welfare benefits advice
- The Citizens Advice Service
- Money Advice Service
- StepChange Debt Advice Charity.
Healthy Start provides vouchers for healthy food, milk and vitamins for pregnant people and children under 4. You may be eligible if you are either on benefits or under 18. Find out more in this Healthy Start guide, and if you need any help with your application contact firstname.lastname@example.org.