Universal Credit…the basics

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit, or UC for short, is for people on a low to moderate income, whether in work, or out of work because they are seeking work, caring or too ill to work.

UC is a means-tested benefit, so entitlement depends on income, savings and personal circumstances. It is being introduced gradually as part of the government’s welfare reform and will replace six ‘means tested’ benefits (legacy benefits):

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers
  • Income-based Employment Support Allowances
  • Working Tax Credit.

It is paid monthly in arrears and is paid into your bank account. If you currently receive any of these benefits, you can’t claim Universal Credit at the same time.

From 5th December, Blackpool and the Fylde became a Universal Credit Full Service area.

Are you currently claiming Universal Credit?

If you are already getting Universal Credit, you will have to move to the full service. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will notify you when this will happen and what you need to do at that time.

You will receive a call to action letter from the DWP inviting you to attend an appointment to make an online transfer claim, the letter will also mention what documents you need to bring.  Your work coach will support you through this process. It is important that you attend this interview to prevent your claim and payments being suspended.

The way you manage your claim will also change.  As a Universal Credit live service claimant you can manage your claim over the phone, once you move over to full service you will need to manage your claim online. You will be able to use your online account to report changes, send messages to your work coach and find support.

Remember, we’re here to help. If you’d like any further information or support please contact the BCH Rents Team on Tel: 01253 477900 and choose Option 1 or Email:


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