Universal Credit aims to make the welfare system simpler by replacing six benefits, and credits with a single monthly payment if you are on a low income or out of work.
It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers.
It aims to ensure that you will be better off in work and makes it easier for you to start a new job or work more hours. As your take home pay increases, Universal Credit will gradually reduce, meaning that your benefits don't end immediately if you are on a low income.
Universal Credit merges a number of existing benefits into one single payment:
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for administering Universal Credit and not your local council. If you get Universal Credit and pay rent your housing costs will be included in your universal credit unless you live in supported accommodation in which case you will need to make a claim for housing benefit.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages and some people in Salford have been able to claim Universal Credit since July 2014.
You can find out more about Universal Credit and the information you need to have available before you make your claim. You will normally need to make your claims online.
If you do not have access to a computer, there are a number of places across the borough where you can use a computer for free.
If you are unable to make the claim online yourself our staff at Eccles and Walkden Gateway Centres can assist you to make your claim.
If you think you may struggle to manage your money on Universal Credit, you can ask your Job Centre Advisor to refer you to the council so that we can arrange for assistance to be provided.
If you make a claim for Universal Credit and you are responsible for council tax you will need to make a separate claim for council tax reduction. You can also make your council tax reduction claim online.
Do not delay making your claim as we cannot backdate your council tax reduction and you may have to pay more council tax as a result.