Universal Credit is gradually replacing the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
If you are already claiming benefits, you can usually stay on one of these benefits unless something about your situation has changed. This is called a ‘change of circumstances’. Please note that not every change of circumstance means you need to claim Universal Credit.
If you claim Universal Credit you won’t be able to go back to the benefit you were on before.
If want to make a new application for benefits then you might be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income
- you’re not working
- you have a disability or illness
- you’re caring for someone
You can get Universal Credit even if you’re self-employed or on a zero hours contract.
The amount you could get depends on your situation and how much you earn. This includes money you get from furlough or from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
It’s best to apply for Universal Credit before trying to get other benefits. To find out about Universal Credit, get information on eligibility and information on how to apply here.
If you are unable/not eligible to get Universal Credit, you can apply for the ‘new style’ benefits. You will however need to have paid enough national insurance contributions to do this. You may be able to get these benefits if you:
- are out of work – check if you can claim new style Jobseeker’s Allowance
- cannot work because of illness or disability – check if you can claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
If you need help deciding which benefits to claim, you can contact us to speak to a benefits adviser.