Universal Credit - Frequently asked Questions

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new simpler, single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now.

Universal Credit will replace:

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


What’s different about Universal Credit?

Universal Credit will be paid in a different way to current benefits:

  • It will be paid monthly into a bank account of your choice
  • If you get help with your rent (housing benefit), this will be included in your monthly payment – you will then pay your landlord yourself
  • If you and your partner are both eligible, you will get one monthly payment for the household.

    Managing your Universal Credit claim online

    Universal Credit will generally be managed online. You make your claim online, then check on your payments and updates through your online account.

    Working and claiming Universal Credit

    There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you’re claiming Universal Credit. Instead, the amount you’ll get will gradually reduce as you earn more, so you won’t lose all your benefits at once.

    Or use a benefit calculator on the GOV.UK website which will estimate all your entitlements including Universal Credit.

    How to get ready for Universal Credit

    Even if you’re not likely to be affected straight away, there are things you can do now to make sure you’re prepared for Universal Credit.

    How and when your benefits are paid

    Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union current account - if you don’t have one you could get paid using a Post Office card account. If your payment is due on a bank holiday, you’ll be paid on the last working day before the holiday. If you would like to open a Credit Union account, please contact the the Income Maximisation Team on 0208496 4197 or email income.maximisation@aschamhomes.org.uk.

    How often you’re paid


How often is it paid

Basic State Pension

Usually every four weeks

Carer’s Allowance

Weekly in advance or every four to 13 weeks

Child Benefit

Usually every four weeks - or weekly if you’re a single parent or you or your partner get certain benefits. Bank holiday payment dates may be different

Disability Living Allowance

Usually every four weeks

Employment and Support Allowance

Usually every two weeks

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Usually every two weeks

Pension Credit

Usually every four weeks

Personal Independence Payment

Usually every four weeks

Tax credits - eg Working Tax Credits

Every four weeks or weekly. Check your payment date if you’re paid every four weeks. Bank holiday payment dates may be different.

Universal Credit

Every month

Your Claimant Commitment

  • You’ll have to accept a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to get Universal Credit
  • This is an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks in order to claim Universal Credit
  • What you agree to do will depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get work or increase your income.
  • How to claim

    Most people will claim their Universal Credit and manage their account online. Since October 2013, Jobcentres have begun installing thousands of new computers and helping people to use them to get online and manage their benefits claim. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Income Maximisation Team on 0208496 4197 or email income.maximisation@walthamforest.gov.uk who can assist you further.

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