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Benefits have changed for working age people. The Government has created Universal Credit as a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will replace six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the UK. 

What is it?



It brings together the main out of work benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit.

When is it coming?

For the majority, Universal Credit has been rolled out in Wolverhampton. 

When? Who? Where?
February 2016 Single people
- claiming for the first time.
All areas of Wolverhampton
December 2017 Couples and families
- claiming for the first time.
WV1, WV2, WV3, WV4, WV8, WV9, WV10 9, WV14. 
February 2018 Couples and families
- claiming for the first time.
WV6, WV10 0, WV10 6, WV10 7, WV10 8, WV11.
October 2018 Couples and families
- claiming for the first time.
WV12, WV13.
July 2019-2022 Existing claimants
- will be invited to transition to Universal Credit. You will need to apply, it won't be an automatic process.
All areas of Wolverhampton
March 2022 All claimants should be on Universal Credit. All areas of Wolverhampton

What do I need to do?

If you're already claiming any of the benefits in the list, you'll be contacted after September 2018 to transfer over to Universal Credit. You'll need to be ready, make sure you've done all of the things on this list before then.

  1. Email address: Make sure you've got an up to date email address as claims will be online.
  2. Mobile phone number: to receive texts about updating your  "Universal Credit online journal".
  3. Bank Account: Make sure you've got a bank or credit union account as your Universal Credit will be paid direct to you into an account.
  4. Start saving: Your Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears but you'll still need to pay your rent in advance. (Rent won't be paid direct to us, you'll need to pay it yourself.) Why not open a credit union account and save a little each week or month so that you'll have your first rent payment ready? (You'll get interest on your savings too.)
  5. Verify: Before you can make a claim for Universal Credit, you'll need to confirm your identity using Verify. Find out more on our Verify page.



Can I get an advance payment on Universal Credit?

You can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you get by while you're waiting for your first payment. This can be used to help pay your rent and other bills.

How do you get a Universal Credit advance?

Claimants can ask for an advance payment at their Universal Credit interview, which will be booked after the online application is completed. This will take place at a local Jobcentre. If the claimant has already had their interview, they should contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 (textphone 0345 600 0743).

How can I pay my rent when I am on Universal Credit?

When you have got your first payment date, you can set up a Direct Debit to pay your rent as soon as your payment or salary (if you're working) comes into your bank account. You can set up your Direct Debit by clicking here.

There are also other payment methods available.

How can I get more information?

For more help and advice on Universal Credit, visit

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