Universal Credit & Managed Migration

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What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is for people of working age, designed to top up your income to a minimum level and help you with your housing costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, working (including self-employed or part time), out of work or unable to work due to disability or illness.

Universal Credit is replacing these benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

IMPORTANT: Universal Credit does not include help with your Council Tax. You must claim Council Tax Support separately, from your local council.

If you’re getting any of these benefits or tax credits, you do not need to do anything unless either:

  • Your circumstances change
  • You get a letter called a ‘Migration Notice’ telling you that you must claim Universal Credit
    (If you get a Migration Notice, you must move to Universal Credit within 3 months to keep getting financial support.)

You’ll stop getting these benefits and tax credits when you or your partner claims Universal Credit. If you or your partner gets Pension Credit, this will also stop if one of you claims Universal Credit. This will not affect any other benefits you’re getting, such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Carer’s Allowance. Visit www.gov.uk to find out more about how tax credits and other benefits affect each other.

For more information about moving to Universal Credit, visit ucmove.campaign.gov.uk 

Migration Notice

If you have received a Migration Notice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), then your existing benefit will be ending soon.

You must claim Universal Credit by the date on your Migration Notice to continue getting financial support. If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given on your letter, you should contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline as soon as possible.

For more information, visit www.gov.uk if you received a Migration Notice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be:

  • out of work
  • working (including self-employed or part time)
  • unable to work, for example because of a health condition.

To claim you must:

  • live in the UK
  • be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • be under State Pension age
  • have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments.

*There are different eligibility rules if you’ve received a Migration Notice letter telling you to claim Universal Credit.

You can use the government’s benefits calculator to check what benefits you could get.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
You and your family might also need settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get Universal Credit. Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you live with your partner
You will both need to claim for Universal Credit. You must make a joint claim for your household, even if your partner is not eligible. How much you can get will depend on your partner’s income and savings, as well as your own.

If one of you has reached State Pension age
If only one of you has reached State Pension age, you and your partner can still claim Universal Credit as a couple. Your Universal Credit claim will stop when you both reach State Pension age. If you’re getting Pension Credit, it will stop if you or your partner make a claim for Universal Credit. You’ll usually be better off staying on Pension Credit. You can check using the government’s benefits calculator.

If you’re studying or in training
You can make a claim for Universal Credit if you’re in full-time education and any of the following apply:

  • you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
  • you’ve reached State Pension age and live with a partner who is below State Pension age
  • you’ve received a Migration Notice letter telling you to move to Universal Credit.

You can also claim Universal Credit if you’re 21 or under, studying any qualification up to A level or equivalent and do not have parental support. You may be able to claim if you are studying part-time or doing a course for which no student loan or finance is available.

Visit www.gov.uk to check the guidance about claiming Universal Credit as a student.

Students with disabilities or health conditions
You can claim Universal Credit if you’re in full-time education, and have been assessed as having limited capability for work by a Work Capability Assessment before starting your course. You must also be entitled to any of the following:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment

Claiming if you’re 16 or 17
You can make a claim for Universal Credit if any of the following apply:

  • you have a health condition or disability and have medical evidence for it, such as a fit note
  • you’re caring for someone who gets a health or disability-related benefit
  • you’re responsible for a child
  • you live with your partner, have responsibility for a child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re pregnant and expecting your baby in the next 11 weeks
  • you’ve had a baby in the last 15 weeks
  • you do not have parental support, for example you do not live with your parents and are not under local authority care.

If you have a disability or health condition
Visit www.gov.uk if you have a health condition that affects your ability to work, you might get extra money for Universal Credit.

How to claim Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit online via the government website.

Visit www.gov.uk to create an online account.

*If you cannot claim online, you can claim by phone through the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline.

How to claim if you live with a partner
You’ll both need to claim Universal Credit if you live with your partner in the same household and are:

  • married to each other
  • civil partners of each other
  • living together as if you are married

You must make a joint claim for your household, even if your partner is not eligible for Universal Credit. You cannot claim by yourself.

To begin, both of you need to create your own Universal Credit online accounts. The first person to create their account will receive a partner code, which will be displayed on screen.

Your partner will then need to use this code when they create their Universal Credit online account. This ensures the accounts are joined together and you are correctly claiming as a couple. Once you’ve created your account you can make a claim for Universal Credit.

What you’ll need to apply
To apply online you’ll need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • an email address
  • access to a phone

You’ll also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example your:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card
  • payslip or P60

To complete your claim you’ll need to provide information about:

  • your housing, for example how much rent you pay
  • your earnings, for example payslips
  • any disability or health condition that affects your work
  • how much you pay for childcare if you want help with childcare costs
  • your savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out

You might need an appointment with the government Universal Credit team if:

  • they need more information
  • you cannot verify your identity online
  • You’ll be told if this appointment will be in a jobcentre or on the phone.

You can also get support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.

2024/2025 - 53 rent week year

Please note that due to the way the financial calendar falls between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025, there are 53 Mondays during this financial year and therefore 53 rent weeks. This occurs every 5 or 6 years.

Universal credit does not take this into account and calculates the housing cost element of your Universal Credit payment over 52 weeks, meaning that there is potential for a shortfall in the amount you are paid for housing.

As such, we are encouraging all tenants on Universal Credit to pay a little extra if they can in order to cover the shortfall.

Money Manager tool for Universal Credit claimants

The Money Manager tool from the Money Helper Service is designed to help anyone who has made the switch to Universal Credit to manage their finances and budget for monthly payments.

Visit www.moneyhelper.org.uk for more information.

More information

For more information on all things Universal Credit, please visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

Our Money Advice Team
We are here to help!

Whether you’re in employment or in receipt of benefit payments, money issues can affect anyone. We’ve provided a range of tools and information to help you manage your money and make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or need further assistance, contact our Money Advice team or email: GroupMoneyAdvice@jigsawhomes.org.uk.

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