About Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age. It is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and not by your local council. 

Universal Credit is paid monthly and includes help towards your housing costs. This means that rent will go to you instead of your landlord. If you live with your partner, there will be 1 monthly payment to both of you, so you will need to decide which account you would like your Universal Credit to be paid into each month. 

You must make and manage your Universal Credit claim online. Information about how much you will be paid and reporting any changes of circumstance will be done online through your universal credit account. 

Universal Credit replaces:

  • income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

It does not replace Council Tax Reduction or free school meals. You should claim these separately. 

Find out more about Universal Credit

Who can claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is available across the entire borough for most working age residents. 

If you are already claiming benefits, you do not need to claim Universal Credit until it is time to make a new claim for benefits, or until the Department for Work and Pensions request that you claim Universal Credit. You will be asked to claim Universal Credit between July 2019 and 2023.

You cannot claim Universal Credit, but should instead claim Housing and other benefits you are entitled to, if you:

  • are of Pension Credit age
  • are receiving the severe disability premium
  • have more than 2 children - you will be able to claim Universal Credit from February 2019 

You can claim both housing benefit and Universal Credit if you live in:

  • council or housing association temporary accommodation
  • supported accommodation, where you receive care, support or supervision

If you're unsure if your accommodation is supported or temporary, contact your housing or support worker. 

Find out if you can claim Universal Credit 

Apply for Universal Credit

You will need a bank or building society account to receive Universal Credit. If you have difficulty opening an account, most banks offer a free basic bank account. 

It will be your responsibility to pay rent to your landlord. You will need your rent and service charge details when you claim, which you can get on your Camden Account or by contacting your rent officer on 0207 974 4444.

Apply for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is paid monthly. It is likely that you will have to wait 5-6 weeks before you receive your first payment. Visit a money advice organisation for budgeting, benefit and debt advice.

Help with you application 

Watch the Universal Credit in action videos for information on how to apply.

You can also get help with your application from the Citizen’s Advice website, or from your local Job Centre Plus.

Additional help with money

To claim any of the below support, speak to your Job Centre Plus work coach.

You can also use the Money Manager tool to make the most of your Universal Credit, and visit our recommended money and benefit resources for further help and support.

Advance on first Universal Credit payment

It usually takes 5-6 weeks to receive your first payment. If you need help with money during this time, you might be able to get an advance on your first payment.

Alternative Payment Arrangement

If you’re having difficulties managing your Universal Credit payments, you might be able to get an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). There are 3 options:

  • direct payment of rent to landlords (known as managed payments)
  • splitting of payment between a couple
  • more frequent payment of benefit

Budgeting Advance

A Budgeting Advance is a loan that helps with emergency costs, such as replacing a broken cooker, or for help getting a job or staying in work. You’ll repay it through deductions to your Universal Credit payments.