Universal Credit in England and Wales

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for unemployed people or people on low incomes. It replaced several other benefits as a way to unify the money that people receive. You can currently claim Universal Credit if you are either:


  • a single person anywhere in England, Wales, and Scotland, or
  • a couple or family living in certain Jobcentre areas.


How do I claim?

You can apply for Universal Credit online. Visit the Department for Work and Pensions website to see if you are eligible, and make a claim. Your individual circumstances will determine how much you are able to receive.

Can I claim?

If you are receiving or have received benefits, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. It is typically paid into a bank account, and you must then use the funds to pay for the appropriate expenses, such as rent.

Your eligibility for Universal Credit will vary depending on your circumstances, but there are no limits on how many hours a week you can work while claiming. As you earn more your payments will gradually decrease, meaning you will not lose all your benefits at once.

You will also have a claimant commitment, which outlines your responsibilities and the consequences if you do not fulfill your part.

Who can help?

The RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) has a strong tradition of looking after the RAF Family in the UK and overseas. They support all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children. Their Advice and Advocacy service offers expert advice on benefits and help with claiming support you are entitled to. Visit the RAFBF website for more information.

The Royal British Legion can help when you are applying for Universal Credit. They will assess your circumstances and assist with the application process. Visit the Legion website for more information.

Seafarers' Advice and Information Line (SAIL) is the only Citizens Advice service dedicated to Naval Service Veterans. They provide expert telephone and email advice about benefits, including Universal Credit. Visit the SAIL website for more information.

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