Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working age who are on a low income.  It is payable whether or not you're in work and it is paid monthly in arrears. 

It can include amounts for housing, the costs of raising children, disability, or being a carer. Which of these you will get depends on your circumstances.

It replaces six means-tested benefits:

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

The above six benefits are also known as ‘legacy benefits’.

When you receive Universal Credit, you are responsible for paying your rent directly to Ekaya unless you are particularly vulnerable. 

You will need to make your claim for Universal Credit online and you are responsible for keeping your online account updated with any change of circumstances in your household. You must also inform us of any changes.

Migrating to Universal Credit

If you are of working age and have been claiming legacy benefits for a long period, you will eventually get a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions telling you that your existing benefits are ending and you need to claim Universal Credit instead. You must respond to this letter quickly, so that you don’t lose support.

Many people received their migration letter during 2023-24. By September 2025, the DWP plans to contact everyone whose legacy benefits include Tax Credits, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Housing Benefit.

If you claim Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), with or without Housing Benefit, you will be contacted during 2028-29 under current plans.

Links to more information about Universal Credit: