Universal Credit

What is it and how does it work?

Universal Credit is administered and paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which replaces a number of existing benefits for working age applicants. You can find more details of Universal Credit and how it works on the DWP website.

Following an announcement in the 2017 budget, claimants will be unable to make a new application for Universal Credit from 31 December 2017.

Instead, they will need to claim one of the benefits that Universal Credit is replacing - this includes Housing Benefit. Then, from June 2018, most working age people will need apply for Universal Credit instead.

Those already claiming Universal Credit at this date won't be affected by the change.

For more details, and to work out if you're eligible to claim Universal Credit, please check the DWP website.

I’m not currently eligible, what do I do now?

From June 2018, you may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.

You can only make a claim for housing benefit if:

  • you live in supported/exempt accommodation
  • you have 3 or more children who live with you
  • you are a pensioner

If you do not fall into any of the above categories you need to claim Universal Credit

Help managing your finances

Make sure you have a bank account

To receive Universal Credit, you will need to have a bank account so that your benefit and/or salary can be paid straight into it.

There are different bank accounts available, including a basic bank account, current account, building society, Post Office or one from Bradford District Credit Union. If you want general advice on which bank account to choose, please visit the Money Advice Service website.

Manage your money

If you need help with your planning and managing your money, you can get help and advice on the Money Advice website or you can get more help and advice from one of a number of Advice Services across the district.

Debt advice

If you have debt problems, call the Bradford & Airedale Citizens Advice Bureau Debt Advice Line: 01274 758047. Open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm. Please have details of your debts ready when you call. You can also ring any time and leave a message. The CAB will call you back on 01274 758047 or 01274 306617.

Help with Council Tax

Important - you need to know this if you apply for Universal Credit

If you are a Council Tax payer and are on a low income, you may get help with your Council Tax bill through the Council Tax Reduction scheme. To apply, you must complete a Council Tax Reduction application form.

Important: the DWP will not accept an application for Council Tax Reduction or Discretionary Housing Payments - you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.

Help with housing costs

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help with your housing costs from the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme. To apply, you must complete a Discretionary Housing Payments application form.

Important: the DWP will not accept your application for Discretionary Housing Payment - you must apply directly to the Council as soon as you can.

Better off in work calculator

See how much better off in work you could be with the better off in work calculator. This fast and simple to use calculator displays how your benefits are affected as a result of moving into work in a clear and easy to understand way. You can then start your job search with vacancies in the local area through built in Universal Job Match.

Budget Calculator

Use this budgeting calculator to manage your spending. Once you've entered your outgoings, the calculator will automatically highlight potential savings and key areas to work on. This fast, accurate and simple to use device will then calculate your new surplus/shortfall.

Claiming Universal Credit and setting up an account

You will only be able to claim Universal Credit and manage your account online. You might also need to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre.

There is a step by step video guide about how to open a Universal Credit account on YouTube.

If you don’t have access to the internet at home, you can get online for free at all council libraries, other council buildings and some non-council organisations. Details about where to find these sites are on our internet access page.

Verify your identity

You may be able to speed up your application process if you verify your identity online before you make your application. 

More information

More information about Universal Credit can be found on the gov.uk website.

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Contact details

Visit us (call us first to make an appointment):
Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford, BD1 1HX
Eccleshill Library, Bolton Road, Eccleshill, BD2 4SR
Laisterdyke Library, Manse Street, Bradford, BD3 8RP
St Oswald’s West End Centre, Southfield Road, Little Horton, BD5 9DH
Manningham Library, Carlisle Road, BD8 8BB
Shipley Library, 2 Wellcroft, Shipley, BD18 3QH
Keighley Town Hall, Bow Street, Keighley, BD21 3PA
Ilkley Town Hall, Station Road, LS29 8HB

Call us : 01274 432772
Text message (SMS) : 07786 208 100
Email : benefits@bradford.gov.uk


Write to us at:

Housing Benefits and Reductions
PO Box 1251
Bradford
BD1 9YY

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX


© 2017 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council