Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work. In time will replace the following 6 benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

For further detailed information regarding Universal Credit, see the following document which has been provided by the Government: Universal Credit and You

Who can claim Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is being rolled out slowly throughout Britain.
It has been available to some of Gwynedd’s residents since 26 October 2015.

If you’re already receiving one of the 6 benefits named above, you don’t need to do anything yet.


At present Gwynedd is a Universal Credit LIVE Service area, but from December 2018 Gwynedd will become a Universal Credit FULL Service area.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across Great Britain by postcode area.

Whether you can claim it and the way you manage your claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Full Service:

  • Universal Credit full service is available to all types of claimants in certain areas of Great Britain.
  • You will have an online Universal Credit account to manage your claim. You can use your account to report changes, send messages to your work coach and find support.
  • Eventually all Universal Credit claims will be on the full service and you will have a Universal Credit online account.

Live Service:

  • Since 1 January 2018 you cannot make a new claim to Universal Credit in live service areas. You may be able to claim other benefits instead.
  • If you are already getting Universal Credit in a live service area you will manage your claim by phone.
  • If your Universal Credit claim is paused because of increased earnings, you will return to Universal Credit live service if your earnings fall, as long as it is within 6 months.
  • Live service claims will eventually move to the full service. You will be notified when this will happen and what you need to do at that time.

How to make a claim for Universal Credit

To claim Universal Credit you must apply on-line (no paper forms available).

There are no paper forms, and before you start making a claim you’ll have to make sure that you have the following:

  • your National Insurance number
  • details of a bank, building society or Credit Union account into which your Universal Credit will be paid
  • your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • details of any savings and other capital
  • details of any non-work income - for example income from an insurance plan
  • details of any other benefits you already receive

The government’s website also contains details of how to contact their helpline and links to various other pages containing information about Universal Credit.

Help from the Council to make a claim

The Council can help you to make claim for Universal Credit by providing free access to computer facilities and the internet at different sites throughout Gwynedd. At some of these sites we will have trained staff present to help you make the claim, which we refer to as Supported Access. At our libraries, you can make use of the free computer facilities, but with no specialised help, although some of our library staff may be able to offer you some basic help to get started. These are called Unsupported Access.

Information for landlords

People that receive Universal Credit will not receive Housing Benefit. Their Universal Credit may contain a Housing Cost element, and tenants will be responsible for using this money to pay their rent, even if there’s a shortfall between the money they receive and the actual rent.

The Government have prepared advice and guidance for both tenants and landlords on their website, which includes the procedures to follow to request direct payments if a tenant has rent arrears. Direct payments can be requested by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre by e-mail, freepost or phoning 0345 600 0723 – all these details are available on the Government’s Universal Credit and rented housing website. 

For further information, please contact us:

E-mail: LwfansTaiLleol@gwynedd.llyw.cymru

Phone: 01286 682689

For further information please contact us or go to: www.gov.uk/universal-credit