Universal Credit

What is it and how does it work?

Universal Credit is a new benefit, administered and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which will replace 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.

Universal Credit is being introduced in the Bradford District from 30 November 2015. Initially only new single claimants aged between 18 and 60 years 6 Months, and eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance, will be able to apply. The criteria for claiming Universal Credit may change and you should check the DWP website to see if you are eligible.

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

If you have reached state pension age you don’t have to do anything. Pensioners do not fall within the scope of Universal Credit, so you just need to carry on claiming your benefits as you do now.

If you are single, but not eligible for Universal Credit, you can apply for Job Seekers Allowance. The DWP will be able to advise you on this.

If you are already claiming benefits you don't need to do anything now. You will be told when Universal Credit will affect you, and what you must do, by the DWP.

Help managing your finances

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.

You will need to check which bank account is best for you, as some of them don’t offer overdrafts, cheque books, or you may not be able to make outgoing regular payments for rent or bills. You can find out more about choosing a bank account from the Money Advice Service.

Further information can also be found on the gov.uk website.

If you need help with your planning and managing your budget, 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.

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.

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

Help with Council Tax

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.

What about residents who don't have access to the internet at home?

Free access to the internet can be found at all council libraries, other council buildings and some non-council organisations.


Stay connected Image of an envelope

Sign up for email updates about benefits

Contact details

Visit us
Bradford city centre - Customer Service Centre, Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford, BD1 1HX
Keighley - Customer Service Centre, Keighley Town Hall, Bow Street, Keighley, BD21 3PA
Manningham - Customer Service Point, Manningham Library, Carlisle Road, BD8 8BB
Shipley - Customer Service Point, Shipley Library, 2 Wellcroft, Shipley, BD18 3QH
Eccleshill - Customer Service Point, Eccleshill Library, Bolton Road, Eccleshill, BD2 4SR

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

Write to us at:

Benefits Service
Britannia House
Hall Ings

Other pages in this section

Rate this page

The feedback you provide will help us continue to make improvements to our website.