Welfare reform

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is part of the government’s Welfare Reform policy. The government is making the benefits system simpler by replacing the following benefits with one monthly household payment:

  • Housing Benefit, unless you live in supported exempt accommodation
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax Support (CTS), or Housing Benefit (HB) for people living in supported exempt accommodation such as hostels or sheltered accommodation.

Who is affected?

Universal Credit affects everyone applying for any of the above benefits, unless:

Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually across the country. In Central Bedfordshire, you will have to apply for Universal Credit instead of the benefits above from 3 May 2017, if your postcode starts with any of the following:

  • MK43 0
  • MK43 9
  • MK44 3
  • MK45 1
  • MK45 2
  • MK45 3
  • MK45 4
  • MK45 5
  • MK45 9

You will have to apply for Universal Credit from 1 November 2017, if your postcode starts with any of the following:

  • AL3 8
  • AL5 3

If you live in supported exempt accommodation, such as a hostel or sheltered accommodation, you will be able to get Housing Benefit as well as Universal Credit – please contact us if you think that your accommodation may qualify.

If you are already getting any of the benefits being replaced by Universal Credit, you will be able to continue getting them until your circumstances change. If you make a new claim, you will be told to claim Universal Credit instead.

Find out more

Visit the GOV.UK - Universal Credit (link opens in new window) page to find out more about Universal Credit, including when you may be affected, and how to claim.

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