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). You must still apply for Council Tax Support from us if you need help to pay your Council Tax.

Universal Credit does not replace Housing Benefit (HB) for people living in supported accommodation such as hostels or sheltered accommodation, or people living in temporary accommodation because of homelessness. If you live in supported or temporary accommodation, you must apply for Housing Benefit to help with your rent and apply for Universal Credit (link opens in new window) to help with your income.

Who is affected?

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

You can only generally get the Severe Disability Premium if:

  • you are entitled to the Daily Living component of Personal Independence Payments or the Care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or high rate and
  • you have no non-dependants living with you and
  • nobody gets either Carer's Allowance or the Carer element of Universal Credit for looking after you

What you need to do

You need to apply for Universal Credit (link opens in new window) instead of Housing Benefit.

If you live in supported exempt accommodation, such as a hostel, sheltered, or temporary council 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:

Email: benefits@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 300 8306

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.