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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a means tested benefit that is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. It replaces the following in-and-out of work benefits (commonly referred to as legacy benefits) for working-age applicants:

Legacy Benefits:

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

If you live in Sefton, it is not possible to make a new claim for Housing Benefit benefits’ unless you fit into one of the following groups:

  1. You are classed as “a pensioner”
  2. You live in certain types of supported accommodation, known as “specified accommodation”.

Click here for more information on who is classed as being in these groups.  

Additionally, in most cases, you cannot make a new claim for the other legacy benefits either.

Universal Credit can be claimed by anyone of working-age including single people, couples and families.

Universal Credit replaces all means-tested benefits for people who are:

  • Unemployed
  • Unable to work owing to illness or disability (temporary or permanent)
  • Working part-time or full-time
  • Self employed

You can see the criteria for claiming Universal Credit by clicking Department for Work and Pensions Universal Credit Service in the 'Related links' area of this page.

Universal Credit claims are made and maintained, online. See the Apply for Universal Credit link in the 'Do it online' area of this page.

You will need the following information with you to make your claim online:

  • National Insurance number
  • Details of a bank, building society or Post Office account into which your Universal Credit will be paid
  • Tenancy agreement (if you have one) and details of your current rent
  • Details of any savings and other capital
  • Details of any non-work income - for example income from an insurance plan
  • Details of any other benefits you already get
  • If you have a partner you will also need their details

It should take between 20 and 40 minutes to complete your claim.

Universal Credit Helpline:
You can contact the DWP Universal Credit Helpline free on: 0800 328 5644 (textphone: 0800 328 1344).

Helpline opening hours - 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

Additionally, your nearest Jobcentre may be able to assist you to make your claim.

  • Bootle Jobcentre Plus, Stanley Road, Bootle.
  • Crosby Jobcentre Plus, Hougoumont Avenue, Waterloo.
  • Southport Jobcentre Plus, 68b Eastbank Street, Southport
  • Kirkby Jobcentre Plus, St Chads Drive, Kirkby

Opening hours for all Jobcentres - (9am to 5pm each weekday, Wednesday 10am to 5pm)

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Help to Claim service:

If you have any difficultly with the online claim process, or concerns about managing your finances you can contact Citizens Advice who offer a ‘Help to Claim’ service. (insert link) Contact us about applying for Universal Credit - Citizens Advice

If you live in a privately rented property or you are a private landlord you can find out more information about how Universal Credit and claiming housing costs on the Universal Credit FAQs section

In most cases, the housing cost element of your universal credit will be paid directly to you, not your landlord.  As such, you will need to make arrangement to pay your rent to your landlord.

If the amount of your housing cost element does not cover your full rent and you cannot afford to pay it from your existing income, you may be able to apply for a discretionary housing payment.

Discretionary Housing Payments are discretionary awards and further information can be found in the related links area of this page.

Contact details for local social housing landlords include:

One Vision Housing
Tel 0300 365 1111

Riverside Housing
Tel: 0345 111 0000

Your Housing Group
Tel: 0345 345 0272

Tel: 0344 736 0066

Sanctuary Housing
Tel: 0800 131 3348

The Prima Group
Tel: 0151 227 1001

The Jigsaw Group
Tel: 0300 11 1133

Onward Homes (previously LHT)
Tel: 0300 555 0600

Plus Dane Housing
Tel: 0800 169 2988

Crosby Housing Association
Tel: 0151 920 7300

Last Updated on Thursday, July 4, 2024

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