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 (rent and some service charges). It is for people on a low to moderate income. It does not matter whether you are working or not, or the reason why you are not working.

Universal Credit replaces these benefits:

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

Universal Credit does not include help with your Council Tax. You must claim Council Tax Support separately from Plymouth City Council

Universal Credit is paid in one lump sum and on a monthly basis, and includes help to pay your rent. This help isn’t paid separately, like Housing Benefit. The Universal Credit is paid straight to you, so you have to pay your rent out of this money.

Plymouth will become a full digital service area for Universal Credit which means anyone will be able to claim it including couples and families.

Most people will get the same amount of money as they would have under the benefits listed above – it just looks like more because of the benefits all being paid together, including help with rent, and is paid monthly, all at once.

It is important to budget when getting Universal Credit payments. As they are paid monthly in arrears, you will need to keep enough money back to make sure you pay your rent each month, other household bills and living expenses.

Our Financial Inclusion Team can give you really good money advice. Email them on or call us on 0808 230 6500.