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Eight questions about Universal Credit

Universal Credit is now available in all Jobcentres in the UK and more people are now being asked to claim it.

We’ve had a rush of calls to our advice line recently from people asking what Universal Credit (UC) means, so we’ve pulled together some of the key questions to help you understand this benefit and what you need to do if you have to claim it.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single benefit for people of working age. It replaces these existing benefits and tax credits:

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

What’s different about Universal Credit?

If you live in England or Wales:

  • You’ll get one single payment, paid monthly in arrears. This will go towards your living costs, housing costs and childcare costs if you have children
  • If you’re in a couple, only one of you will get the payment for both of you
  • If you pay rent, you’ll have to pay it directly to your landlord
  • Your universal credit payment is paid into your bank account.

If you don’t already have a bank account that can make and receive payments, you’ll have to set one up.

What if I live in Scotland or Northern Ireland?

The payment arrangements in Scotland and Northern Ireland are slightly different.

If you’re in Scotland you can ask to get two monthly payments, instead of one, and pay your landlord directly.

In Northern Ireland, you automatically get two monthly payments, but can ask to be moved to monthly payments and pay your rent directly to your landlord.

Find out more about Universal Credit in Scotland

Find out more about Universal Credit in Northern Ireland

Will I be asked to claim Universal Credit?

If you’re making a new claim for the benefits being replaced by Universal Credit, you will now be asked to apply for Universal Credit.

You might also be asked to claim Universal Credit if you’re already claiming certain means-tested benefits and your circumstances change, for example, starting a new job, having a child, or your partner moving in or out.

If you are claiming Severe Disability Premium you won’t have to claim Universal Credit for the time being.

Will I be worse off moving onto Universal Credit?

The way your Universal Credit payment will be worked out uses different rules.

Universal Credit payments are made up of a standard allowance plus payments (called elements) for your personal circumstances.

This means your award might be more or less than what you’re currently getting

If you have to move onto Universal Credit you can use the Benefit and Budgeting calculator on the Policy in Practice website to work out if you will be better or worse off.

If you will be worse off you may want to get advice from a specialist benefits adviser, for example at your local Citizens Advice.

How long will I have to wait for my first payment?

One of the big differences between Universal Credit payments and the way existing benefit payments are paid is that you will be paid monthly in arrears.

This means you might have to wait several weeks for your first payment – on average around five weeks.

If you think you will miss essential bill payments during this time, talk to people that you might owe money to, like your energy supplier,to discuss what you can do. They might be able to offer support, like energy grants or lower tariffs.

If you are worried about going into debt or don’t know what to say to people you owe money to, a free debt adviser will be able to talk through things you can do.

Do this as soon as you can to avoid debts piling up. Eight out of ten people tell us they feel less stressed and anxious after getting debt advice.

If you’re worried about paying your rent

Making you sure you keep a roof over your head can be a major worry if you have to wait several weeks for your first payment.

It’s important you talk to your landlord straightaway and let them know you are waiting for the money to be paid.

When you have got your first Universal Credit payment date, set up a Direct Debit or a standing order to pay your rent as soon as your Universal Credit payment or salary (if you’re working) comes in to your bank account. You may have to change your rent date.

In Scotland - remember that you can ask that rent be paid automatically to your landlord to help you manage payments if you haven’t already done so.

The Housing element of your Universal Credit payment may not cover all your housing costs if you have too many bedrooms for your needs or your rent is higher than the amount that you are entitled to.

If you are facing a rent shortfall, talk to your local council about applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you’re already in rent arrears talk to your work coach about setting Direct Payments to your landlord. This means your rent payments will go straight to them until you can get back on your feet again.

If you've little or no money coming in

If you will really struggle to manage until your first payment you can ask for an advance payment from your work coach.

You can get up to a full month’s payment as an advance. But you will have to pay this back from future Universal Credit payments over 12 months – so only apply for as much as you need.

Your work coach may also be able to put you in touch with local support and help you can get with everyday costs, such as food and gas or electricity payments.

You can call the free Universal Credit helpline on:

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344

8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday (closed on bank and public holidays). Calls are free. 

What do you think?

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  • KENDALL / 2 August 2018

    In regards to FIRSTTIMECLAIMER...I don't condone your stinking attitude, I work full time and do not claim any benefits, my sister does however as she is unable to work, as she has been signed off by the hospital not going into the reasons why (as its none of your business), but the Universal credit system is a sham. There are so many individuals that are looking after loved ones with special needs or disabilities and all the other people that have found themselves unemployed at a certain age that find it hard to get a job due to age which believe me does happen.
    I have seen and influx of new people in my area living rough- and NO before you comment they are not all drug addicts and drunks just people down on their luck with the benefits system BEING WAY TOO HARSH.

    A single person can only get £212 a month where I live for a place to live yet the cheapest I have found is £350 so of course they will end up on the street if they have no close family.

    So shame on you for having such a stinking disgraceful attitude YOU ABSOLUTE CALLOUS, DISPASSIONATE MORON.

  • nigel shepherd / 1 August 2018

    I am on income based jsa at the moment been told jobcentre goes live with uc in sept no changes in my circumstances will they just switch me over or do I have to apply

  • David James / 31 July 2018

    Hi if I want to close down my universal credit account how do I go about it

  • Chrissy Hollinshead / 26 July 2018

    I am not stupid, I'm quite bright and I'm finding this all very confusing! We need to move closer to my family so they can support us better. But that area is fully UC. I'm on indefinite ESA support group contribution based.
    I cannot find out what will happen when we move to UC area. We need to know how this will affect us financially but there is no clear information for this. Just a lot of maybes and vague references that some will be better off and others won't.

  • Marie / 23 July 2018

    If I claim universal credit I will lose about £80 a month, is it worth changing over or is their anythi g else I can claim

  • PAUL ROBERT ROBINSON / 22 July 2018


  • Jane browne / 17 July 2018

    Can i clame free prescription on universal credit

  • Sam Belton / 12 July 2018

    I am claiming JSA with the severe disability element and my Job Centre has changed to UC after I claimed JSA. I was planning on taking a job working 16 hours per week and getting working tax credits, but the severe disability premium equivalent is not paid by the UC system, so I would not be able to take any job I am capable of doing on those hours, so it looks like I will be on JSA for a lot longer than planned. UC does NOT encourage disabled people back to work, it encourages them to stay out of work. Worse still, if I took a six month contract job, then when the six moth period ends, I would then be on UC and financially far worse off than on JSA with my existing disability premium, so I won't be looking for short term contract work either. How ridiculous it is not to encourage disabled people back to work.

  • Jan / 21 June 2018

    Unfortunately my husband lost his job in March this year, I am working full time on a salary of £18000, after filling everything in and constantly requesting updates on my journal, no one ever replied on it, ( well once or twice when they needed information ) So now after 3 months and loads of calls to them which i had to wait between 45 mins to an hour to be answered, we have finally had a decision. we as a married couple living in a rented flat are entitled to £0.00. Apparently my wage of £1200 is enough to pay full rent, council tax, gas electric, water. We do not have sky, broadband or any other luxury s apart from my old car, which I need for work. So they have not considered, petrol, insurance, basic mobile bill, Oh and food, and I am meant to keep my husband while he is desperately seeking work. I just have not got enough coming in to live. Good news was that my husband had a call from a agency offering him a night time position which is over 20 miles away, He cannot drive but is willing to get two trains, But we have no money for him to start his new job. I have worked all my life and have never claimed benefits before. It is absolutely disgraceful how this is worked out, just thrown out to probably become homeless.

  • Scott ballantyne / 18 June 2018

    Can I get universal credit if I don’t want work

  • Tracy howarth / 17 June 2018

    Help please me n fella av done our claim,
    It still sayin 2things tho on to do list,says all completed questions are in journel?? Dont understand? Av dont all questions but still saying
    1,joint claim?
    2.who lives with you?
    But ive done em wot do i do next need to get me claim going as av started work n stopped jsa claim

  • carol mason / 16 June 2018

    I cannot see how this UC will help people that need benefits. I'm on carers allowance (sons on enhanced PIP) we get 3/4 rent paid (still have to find £158 every 4 weeks C Tax £67. small pensions for me and husband, so I will prob be worse off. He will have to look for work, he's 63 now. I suppose we will be sanctioned by DWP, just like the JSA used to?
    Lots of people must be really worried.I've just got money sorted after getting the pensions, it's really thrown it all out. Had to reapply for everything and ended up losing out due to pension pot. Really worried, prod end up at soup kitchen. Stressful enough looking after a disabled son.

  • Joseph Paul oneill / 15 June 2018

    Hard to get used to when you get on it and when your not computer skills

  • C Matthews / 13 June 2018

    Universal credit is another way of government control!
    If you are sick you need to keep going into the office - unbelievably insane - sick means sick! They can override a GP fitness for work cert.I
    The whole system is corrupt!!!!

  • C Matthews / 13 June 2018

    Universal credit is another way of government control!
    If you are sick you need to keep going into the office - unbelievably insane - sick means sick! They can override a GP fitness for work cert.I
    The whole system is corrupt!!!!

  • michael / 6 June 2018

    After asking what i thought was a logical question, i then read some previous posts. OH MY GOD! Some of you guys sound really bad! Jesus! If u have genuine medical conditions or a full time carer then this doesnt apply to you but don. Like Universal credit...... GET. A. JOB.

  • michael / 6 June 2018

    If i am recieving universal credit and dwitching to live, why do i need to verify who i am when it hasnt been any issue up till now? Also, experian doesnt appear to know any information i have provided and thus wont verify me. What do i do?

  • Ada White / 28 May 2018 that when.I am 62 yrs old, I will only have to sign.into Universal Credits once a this true please
    Thank you

  • Fiona / 28 May 2018

    Firstly I have become my 97year mams full time carer, I get weekly carers allowance of £64.46,am also on universal credit, they too it up with carers element but take it off me because of my weekly carer allowance, I get my rent paid out of my un credit then they take debt out of my payment, am in rent arrears I can't afford to pay my gas/electric water etc as what am left with is crap, iv worked all my life, am never at my flat as I stay with mam all time,I carnt afford to buy food etc, I asked my work coach for advice, about if I moved in with my mam, her house is her own would I still get my full personal element she could not tell me as she says I would have to do a change of circumstances, I don't want to do this yet as I don't know when it will be, this is so frustrating because i am paying rent and bills for a flat am not living at most of time,
    Can any one please help or have advice thank you

  • avril / 25 May 2018

    universal credit is a disgrace i and my partner live on 45 pound a week they have taken our careers allowance of our benefits we have to go to food banks they have also left us in rent arrears

  • Linda lockett / 20 May 2018

    I don't see the point in changing it to universal credit as it is going to affect everybody's rent and housing benefit and put alot of people in arrears and end up loosing the property I wouldn't go on it

  • Brooke / 10 May 2018

    It's not working apparently you don't recognise my postcode what do I do now?

  • Simon Monk / 9 May 2018

    I am ending my claim soon, due to moving back in with my parents as I can't afford to stay in my own house any longer. When I move it will be half way through a payment period. When I close the claim the day I move, will I still get paid for the half of the month I'm due or will I lose two weeks money? I need to know so I can budget.

  • Penny / 7 May 2018

    That should have said 'Who is going to administer/pay universal credit? The DWP or Local Authorities?

  • Penny / 7 May 2018

    This going to administer/pay universal credit? The DWP or Local Authorities?

  • Dawn Angela Tozer / 6 May 2018

    i went into my local job centre on Friday because i have been having problems linking my husbands and my universal credit accounts,at first they didnt know what i was talking about so i had to say the same thing again and again,finally they went onto a computer and i signed in as i should and they saw for themselves the problem i was having,tried the same procedure with my husbands account ,the same outcome.By this time i was getting weepy as i have been under such incredible strain as we have been struggling on only my wages for the last year or so ,and this was the light at the end of a very dark tunnel,but this wasnt to be.I was told there was nothing they could do,one woman was in a hurry to get home, and was told they would flag it up with tech and until that had been resolved they couldnt help.I said i didnt have any money but no comment.
    I am 60 now, i do not make a habit of asking for help but i am needing it now and i feel well and truly let down,i have worked all my life paid all i should but i still cant help.I am in arrears with my rent,water,council tax.I hope this tech error gets resolved soon,and will my claim be back dated to when i originally did it ????

  • Lee Miller / 4 May 2018

    I have been travelling to and from the Job Centre complying with the Universal Credit work Journal commitments intensively. However, it costs me £6 + a week in travel to visit the job centre for their mandatory appointments. Surely there has to be travel allowance to the appointments for my time and compliance?? I am out of the area and only buses OR a car is possible. I am at least 12 miles away from the nearest Job Centre.
    Has this been raised by others in need? Additionally, I am on my fifth week still and not received a payment yet .

  • Lee Miller / 4 May 2018

    I have been travelling to and from the Job Centre complying with the Universal Credit work Journal commitments intensively. However, it costs me £6 + a week in travel to visit the job centre for their mandatory appointments. Surely there has to be travel allowance to the appointments for my time and compliance?? I am out of the area and only buses ro a car is possible. 12 miles away Has this been raised by others in need? Additionally, I am on my fifth week still and not received a payment yet .

  • gregory m page / 3 May 2018

    when i entered all our info into a sponsored benefit calculator which said we would be entiltled to between £600 - £1600 pcm, after applying for universal credit we were informed we would be entitled to zero (yes,0 0 0 0 0 0 0) as we have a combined monthly takehome of £2172.58, nevermind that the wife & I will see less than a fifth of that once everything is paid up, so we're still skint, still robbing peter to pay paul, still £900od, still using od like a loan coz u cant earn enough to clear it before the bills come out.
    thanks government

  • John keely / 29 April 2018

    I think it's unfair and Its coasin me anixity strees depression things I don't need right now with my mental health problems I've got to stop claiming esa to change to universal credit so I can apply for housing benefit because I'm of nfa and been offered a flat but know I'm going to worse off and have to wait 5 weeks for a payment

  • Sandra Mchugh / 23 April 2018

    Can nobody answer my legitimate question,please

  • Sandra Mchugh / 23 April 2018

    when they stop UC payment where can anwers be found to find out the reason.


    Hi Sarah,

    You should be given all this information when you're told your UC payment is being stopped. If not you can find out from your work coach or at the Job Centre.

  • Leroy smith / 19 April 2018

    I have been on UC now I have a job working 20 hours per week, they are telling me I cant go back on Tax Credits, I have to stay on UC. Seeing as I pay £30 a week tax and they are going to deduct money, I only take home £120 per week. I am thinking I will hardly even be better off, can You tell me what the rules of the amount they deduct etc. please?


    Hi Leroy, Tax Credits (both Working and Child) are included in your Universal Credit payment. This means you can't "go back" to Tax Credits as you're already receiving them as part of your payment. If the deductions you are talking about are for Tax Credit debt, then the DWP will reduce your UC payment to cover this. Is this what you are referring to?

  • Mr pascal mulkerrins / 7 April 2018

    Why do I have to pay back universal credit? For money I would have been getting for my housing benefit anyway,as I am on higher rate disability! !!! This has put me in money troubles now when I was already in control of all my bills.I was forced to go on universal credit.

  • Rory / 28 March 2018

    Well done "FirstTimeClaimer", spoken like someone who's never had to deal with depression and anxiety. There's a lot more to it than "sitting around feeling sorry for yourself". It's a shame because most of your other points are sensible enough, but you could do with taking the time to understand an illness that you clearly do not understand before you ridicule people for something that they often cannot help.

  • Mark Barlow / 27 March 2018

    If I am on income support do I have to change over to universal credit or can I stay on income support

  • Paul Metcalfe / 26 March 2018

    What is the reason for paying UC in arrears? That means over a protracted period you will always be one month short, in other words a whole months benefit payments is lost.

  • Bonaria Blackie / 24 March 2018

    I am on Universal Credit, and I have a student that I am tutoring. The person that arranged the tutoring (I am a qualified TEFL Teacher) wants to pay me £20 for one hour a week plus the cost of the bus to do it. I would therefore get £80 a month, however Universal Credit have told me I would lose £66 worth of UC, as I can only keep 33 pence of every pound I earn. I need teaching experience, and my student needs to have English to get a job. Is there a way to appeal this ridiculous state of affairs with the DUP?

  • Ross / 18 March 2018

    This is a cruel and nasty benerfit .I will never vote Tory ever again . Thatcher was not as nasty as this Govermant .May is just a nasty person .How do you live with your self .ian Duncan Smith could not he said UC has gone to Farr

  • Ross / 18 March 2018

    I am being evicted for I waited for my first payment but because I was still on ESA by no falt o mine the did not pay my rent .The strange thing is that the job center staff has to ask CAB how this benefits works . All I can say it’s a mess And Ian Duncan Smith is part to blame for it

  • teresa / 5 March 2018


  • FirstTimeClaimer / 5 March 2018

    Some people here in the comments sound like absolute jobsworths!

    1) Depression/Anxiety isn't a reason to not be in work or searching for work. Thats just ridiculous. Man up and get on with life.. just because your depressed or anxious doesn't mean you have the right to get paid by the government to stay in your home all day feeling sorry for yourself.

    2) People complaining its a monthly payment..... erm.... reality check... most employees pay you monthly! Every else has to budget for the month... so learn to budget that way and deal with it like everyone else!

    3) Someone said "stopping jobseekers allowance is against your human rights". Jesus Christ on a bicycle.... you need to learn what human rights are you imbecile... its not anyones human right to have the government pay you to live... go live a week or 2 in Africa or the poor regions of Asia then come and say its your human right to be paid by the government to live.

    4) Someone complaining that they don't have enough money to live for the month because they smoke £60 of cigarettes a week and the UC doesn't cover that plus bills..... Do you need your head shaking fella? If your that hard up for cash QUIT SMOKING!!!!!! Its a luxury not a right.

    Some people don't know how lucky they are we have this generous welfare state! They also don't appreciate the luxuries they have living here in the UK!

    Ive been around the world and ive spent a lot of time with poor people who make do on less than £1 a week, people with no access to running water or electric.... and heres the catch.... they are SOOOOO much happier than anyone ive ever met in the UK! Gives you perspective on how people in the UK are so self-entitled... they think the world owes them something when it doesn't.... you make your own way in life!! Get of your bloody arses and go find work picking strawberries in a field or something... anything to get cash in.

    Stop complaining and get some perspective on life. We are all part of the privileged few in the world being British. Stop being self-entitled morons.

  • Harriet mulcare / 25 February 2018

    It terrible am telling you I am 59 years old woman who work most of my life been on this terrible benefit call universal credit just 2 months now I about to lose my home because they not paying my housing costs I feel want has happened to Britain am so tearful most days I suffer from depression but these last few months it's got bad the children not getting proper food to eat right now I got no heating because the univeral credit money run out want happen groverment want have you done

  • Harriet mulcare / 23 February 2018

    I been on this terrible benefit for 2 months this universal credit has put me in more arrears with my home I live in for 31 years I have always work on till my doctors sign me off with depression I was claiming esa from 2016 to 2017 then it stop on the 4th of December 2017 and that was a phone call and was told to claim this terrible universal credit I can't pay my water my rent they not paying not eating the right food I am a 59 year old woman who worked most of my I feel us people who has worked and children who is going hungry because of this terrible benefit it so wrong and this government has make a bad mistake it's sad
    Harriet mulcare

  • William Owen / 21 February 2018

    they expect me to be able to pay my phone bills with £111 a month when I have bills and to pay my family for allowing me to live with them and have no job and I have to pay a total of £271 a month just to cover them universal credit is going to throw me into debt

  • Irin b / 31 January 2018

    Hi, I am 35 years old and I have health problems , I have surgery on my liver and cant work.I apply for housing benefit and I apply for universal credit in the same time.can anyone tell me wich is better to stay ? Because the housing benefit start give me money every 2 week.wich is 80£/ week.if the universal credit will be accepted I gonna losse the housing benefits I know that.but will be universal credit more or less than 80£/ week.and how long I can receive UC?I dont know what to stay in housing benefit and close the aplication for UC..thanks Thanks

  • Elizabeth Carroll / 21 January 2018

    The housing benefit element seems to be a bedroom tax if you have say one extra bedroom not used. Scottish Parliament made this bedroom tax null and void in Scotland. I mean with Universal credit not paying out full housing benefit etc . This is unfair and , may l ask. Will housing benefit be backdated from date of claim for UC?

  • steve / 19 January 2018

    the problem often is people fall between 2 stools, i am 60 (unemployed) and have some health problems which mean that while i can work there are some limits to what i can do, i also have 2 streets away m 88 mother who is still managing but only just. It seemed to us that the best solution was for her to pay me a small amount to do all her shopping/cleaning etc an she would get the help she needs and i would have the help i need. I get housing benefit/council tax benefit due to low income but UC seems to be an all in situation i.e claim housing benefit and you HAVE to do Jobseeking/Work Groups etc and therefore i would not be as available as mum needs (very variable). typical Tory bashing of the welfare state based on their callous blinkered view of others. After all if govt has to pay to help mum it would cost much more than me.

  • steve / 19 January 2018

    does not explain if you can get parts of universal credit e.g you can claim housing benefit (say due to low income) separately at present without HAVING to claim JSA for example. this sounds like everyone will be forced to jobseek even if they just need help with council tax or rent

  • J M S / 14 January 2018

    I was intending on claiming for Tax Credits but now live in a UC area. Can someone tell me how I advise of my earnings? Is it a monthly figure that my UC are based on or previous years income like Tax Credits, also do I need to supply a figure each month (if it is a monthly figure they use), or will DWP have access to the Real Time information my employer sends to HMRC?

  • D phillips / 10 January 2018

    We receive benefits for low income but benefits and help should not be a God given right!
    If you can't survive on what you are receiving get a job.The only exception to this should be people who are physically or mentally unable to work

  • kevin howard / 8 January 2018

    This is corrupted, the system is set up in order to fail, people are deprived of basic living essentials and in return are paying for there food or other essential living costs with there housing benefit money which is paid to you in person to you in order to get you into rent arrears, this is so they can make more space within housing for others not on universal credit, talk about taking advantage of the vulnerable. Ive not long passed my (WCA) work capability assessment but have not be awarded my back date pay, this is because i didn't pass my wca before 3/4/17, this is mainly because i should of had my assessment within the first 13 weeks of my claim but ended up having my assessment 7 months down the line due to a backlog in the universal credit department now this has become my problem. Is there any other help i can get as im living on £190 a month after my sanctions and deductions, i have a single bed flat where im basically sleeping on the floor with no carpets or furniture, and worst of all i cannot provide for my self due to low pay and suffer with mental health problems yet alone my 2 year old son that im not allowed to stop with me due to these problems, please if people have any advice or information on help please email me on, and a big good luck, not proud to be British

  • m marx / 23 December 2017

    The issue missed here is the application is designed to fail,you think its up and running three weeks go by and you ask the job centre, who told me not to worry. It was not completed now they refuse to backdate it with the secretary of states six ridiculous rules designed to fail you. Its a money grab by the state, they are thieves.

  • rashida begum / 19 December 2017

    alot of people blood will be on the universal credit.. people jus dont want to live anymore coz thy cant afford basic living cost.. due to the bastard person who invented universal credit.. 😢

  • Adrian Matthews / 6 December 2017

    can you claim universal credit if U have been made homeless and have no fixed address

  • Emily / 5 December 2017

    I was told that I could not go on universal credit until my circumstances had changed. I did feel pressure from the job centre to find work. The local job centre closed down recently and now having to travel to Halifax. It was a little bit of stress, starting a job and having to go online to apply for universal credit. It had me in tears at what point, sending five messages to my phone to log on to my account. I don't have internet access and one day I got a text message at 5pm to go online. I had to wait the next day. This benefit is very new to me, and I even on the eight week I am finding it hard to understand what they mean with the standard allowance. They did not accept my first wage slip when I went to the Halifax job centre. When I was on jsa,, they would happily scan them. They don't explain that we are responsible for paying our own rent over the month they are making a choice of what will be given. I not really happy, how it been done as it digital benefit. I feel powerless now as someone is reading and looking thought my universal credit account.

  • dean / 3 December 2017

    its all a con, im now getting 250 pound per month less than i was on esa, because i had to claim rent, im getting 360 a month and utility bills come to 200, i smoke and spend about 60 pound a week on cigarettes, im already 100 pond down before i can eat, this has got to be the worse scam ever, im sure its designed to make people homeless

  • Judith Tully / 2 December 2017

    Can anyone tell me if I can access previous Universal Credit Statements on my UC Account page?

  • Rachel Matheson / 30 November 2017

    Hi Rebecca, I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds as though you need help urgently. If you call the Money Advice Line on 0800 138 7777, you can get free, impartial help and advice about all benefits and your tax situation. Please do call - there may be options available to you that you haven't thought about. All the very best to you.

  • Rebecca / 30 November 2017

    I would like to start by firstly saying i have worked my entire life from the age of 15 and payed top tax & NA from 17.
    I had become a single mother of a newborn (no, i did not go ahead and behave stupidly, my son was planned i was just left as a single parent as its 'truest description') I was forced to give up work due to this, my son is 9 months old and ive only just received UC, i receive £528 pcm with no other income due to circumstances, just to beak it down slightly, my rent is £440, Utilities are £60 and i wont continue as i am sure you can work out i have been left with nothing to live on or provide for my child.
    I am now in that horrible reality of it becoming apparent that to provide for my son and I that i will have to return to full time work of roughly 40 hours a week to not only ensure we are cared for but to pay childcare as i have no one who can look after my son. This means i cannot raise my child.
    I have paid a BR tax code of £650pcm almost my entire adult working life, this leaves me with the question of why, why did i pay so much to a government who in my time of need will not even grant me enough to live on.
    I am a very modest person and live well in my means but it seems i will not even have the chance to do this.
    I thought this was designed to help those in need, yet i am told stories of people able to work yet refuse and are claimants in the region of £800+
    I feel so helpless and shocked at this decision as i know a lot of others face this in situations similar to myself.
    A very heartbroken mother.

  • Kim / 20 November 2017

    I think it all rong how do people live I think the government need to sort this out because there be people on the street and more crime will be done only coz they get pay rise and stuff there think it right to do this to people

  • Michelle Milnes / 15 November 2017

    Thanks so much

  • Colin / 13 November 2017

    Personally I have no axe to grind as I am comfortably off and hope never to have the need to receive benefits however I would like to make a few comments on the “system”.
    The following is a real example of what goes on and why the Council is owed so much due to non payment of rents and community charges.
    A local woman found herself penniless & homeless. A temporary place was found for her and she needed money to pay the rent and to live. She contacted the benefits office (BO), explained her problem, and despite informing the operator she struggles with forms and the internet she was told she had to make a claim online. After a couple of weeks she contacted the BO who told her they could not find her claim. She was advised to complete another online application. Another couple of weeks went by and she contacted the BO again, this time she was told there were two claims in her name and both would have to be cancelled - she would have to make another claim online! This pattern was repeated for several weeks (months) and meanwhile the woman was getting further into debt and living on the generosity of the few friends she has. After about 3 months she was given a Council flat however the BO had still not sorted out her claim and she was receiving nothing! The Council sent out an “advisor” to talk to her. At the time I pointed out that I could sit for hours and “advise” anyone how to drive a truck however “advising” them did not make them a driver any more than “advising” someone about budgeting was not going to make them understand it. Obviously this poor woman was struggling to cope & getting further into debt every day. This poor woman will eventually lose her home and the safety she has by living amongst people who care about her all because no one in the BO gives a hoot about the people they deal with and it is disgusting! If her Council Tax & Rent had been paid directly she would not be struggling with debt and the Council would not be owed so much in un unpaid rent. I copied the following from the Inverness Courier dated 25 August 2017 “More than £1.6 million is owed to Highland Council in unpaid rent and the figure continues to climb as the new benefit system is extended across the Highlands.” While not all that unpaid rent will be from benefit’s the vast majority of it is. If the rent had been paid directly the Council would have £1.6 million to spend on new housing or the failing infrastructure and this article demonstrates the system is failing everyone!
    To demonstrate how much anyone cares, I once sat with this woman in the BO waiting to be seen,. We had registered our arrival and we were told to take a seat in front of a desk. We had arrived about 10 minutes before the appointed time. 20 minutes past the appointed time the woman I accompanied received a text on her phone. The text informed her she was being sanctioned for not keeping the appointment - we sat 5 feet in front of the operator she was to see and had even said hello when we arrived yet he registered her as failing to attend! Something is terribly wrong with the system and it needs fixing quickly. There are no simple fixes however there are some glaringly obvious simple solutions to some of the problems.

  • Alex mullan / 10 November 2017


  • Johannes Chosana / 2 November 2017

    I have received the email message from Skrill send by Sarah hooks the money credited to me,ITraction number:187411565745512 status=paid.Please advice me of how to capture it. Date:24/October/2017.

  • Terri-Ann Bostock / 30 October 2017

    Question housing benefit is paid in arrears and universal credit is paid in arrears doesn't that leave me a short fall on my rent

  • Jane Bet-Aivaz / 26 October 2017

    6 weeks without any monies is shocking beyond belief, to treat people so badly is shameful.

  • i\an / 22 October 2017

    universal credit is crap like the tories who all need shooting
    is stopping jobseekers allowance against your human rights?
    Dont think there has been a discussion before on this. Jobseekers can have their benefit stopped etc if they dont adhere to a set of rules and some of them have become quite strict and draconian.

    More and more pressure is being put on people out of work even though in many cases there arent jobs and all these rules wont make jobs appear suddenly.

    Benefit money is supposed to be given by law to give people enough to live on for food etc? How can it be that the government have the right to stop the benefit because you failed to turn up for an appt or you didnt look for the right amount of jobs each week, etc or you failed to drop your cv into a shop on spec. This is money taken from the taxpayers to feed people out of work a basic human right surely?

    If people have their money stopped and have no money isnt that going to make social problems worse and create more stealing etc? have the government got this right. Have they thought this through and is it legal is what I would like to know. Surely the gvt has an obligation to give people with no money basic money for their food?

  • Ms L Vacher / 21 October 2017

    Universal Credit has deducted the room tax from my benefit resulting in me taken to court to be evicted because of rent arrears. My son is at University! I have been fighting this problem for over 2 years and it still has not been fixed. Why? Instead of taking me to court - I wish we had the opportunity and means to take them to court.

  • Ms L Vacher / 21 October 2017

    I am in rent arrears and I have been taken to court to be evicted because Universal Credit is not paying my full rent because of room tax. My son is at university and I have been trying to fix this problem for over 2 years. Why? They have been sent everything.

  • Nicholas Hobbs / 18 October 2017

    I work 15 hours a week so why have I not had universal credit every month if my wages changed I could understand why but my wages no not change from week to week. since October 2015

  • Christina Jones / 18 October 2017

    I cannot understand why the monthly payment to a couple is the same as my pension, without my partners pension we could not afford to live. How are claimants expected to survive given they have simple, additional expenses such as travel costs for example.
    Decision makers should be obliged to walk in claimants shoes before making policy. Michael Portillo tried and failed his Tory colleagues should take note.

  • William Goodwin / 13 October 2017

    Does anyone know how I can prove that I applied for Universal Credit as the powers that be say that they have no evidence of my application?

  • john hunter / 13 October 2017

    what a dreadful,inhumane business universal credit is turning out to be.Shame on this government,particularly over their cruel six week impoverishment processes.

  • devon / 11 October 2017

    Ive recently just applied online for Universal Credit and when I had done all of the question it put me onto my Universal Jobmatch so i thought I should sign in and that will be it. Thing is I'm not sure that it has been completed. Anyone know how I can find out?

  • michael / 4 October 2017

    I will just get in to debt with the loan shark. to pay for my rent
    and live of bread for couple of weeks. in still the Universal Credit come through
    because I got no other way to get money and the rent still need's to be paid

  • Deirdre Sharp / 4 October 2017

    I was made redundant in March 2017 and am claiming Universal Credit. My rent per month is £705. I have rented privately since 11/2011. Because of this I only get £584 per month towards my rent. I have queried this but have been advised that if i had council housing I would get the full amount. Is this correct? I work on a bank basis for the library service so work if/and when required -no more than 16 hours a week and this is deducted from my UC. I get a small amount of help with housing benefit and council tax but have been advised that I will have to pay this all back when I find a full time job. My UC adviser is helping me to find a job but admits there are very few full time administration positions available. I am looking at retail but with no experience no one is interested. I submit my CV each day but rarely receive a reply and those that do are overly subscribed. I hate being in this situation struggling with bills and if it was not for my widowed mother I would be in severe debt and unable to eat. I am really depressed and worried for my future. It is a nightmare to decide whether to pay a bill or EAT - I regularly go without. I have applied to a food bank for help but told I am not destitute or have children/family to support. HELP.

  • Deirdre Sharp / 4 October 2017

    I was made redundant in March 2017 and am claiming Universal Credit. My rent per month is £705. I have rented privately since 11/2011. Because of this I only get £584 per month towards my rent. I have queried this but have been advised that if i had council housing I would get the full amount. Is this correct?

  • cheryl hughes / 29 September 2017

    i work 17 hours but i dont have any money leaved it feels like i working for nothing there say i get workung text but i dont see it but i was on my weekley money i now what i was getting

  • Mike O'Sullivan / 26 September 2017

    Hi. my son is currently in receipt of U.C. But he's just been offered a Christmas Job (which he's accepted & it's been confirmed in writing) for 19 hrs at £8.00 p/hr which will take him off U.C. However, it doesn't start until mid November, he's still applying for permanent or longer term temporary jobs/apprenticeships (has an interview to-day ) but will the Job Center still expect him to apply for short term jobs between now and mid November.


  • Katharine / 16 September 2017

    I thought being on Universal Credit for over a year I would actually get a job working 15 hours plus anything extra, making me better off. Unlike the rules of JSA, you wouldn't have to sign off on this benefit only I have been unable to get offered any job. I have had a few good iterviews just there is always someone who is better than me; i.e more recent experience, I have not worked in a few years, with some volunteer work thrown in. I am doing a two week care related course through the job centre with the promise of a work placement but while the Job centre pay for my travel, I worry I will starve as I get paid the 4th each month and I am all ready on my last £50 for nearly three weeks. I hate asking my family to help me out as I am 35 and feel guilty that this is still happening. I really thought I could get a job on Universal Credit. It isn't enough at all to live on by all means. I do wish when I get paid I could keep ALL the money for me but I have to pay my rent using the Universal Credit or face snotty letters from the council. I don't get how this system is to work. Yes, on one side, you don't have the silly rule of signing off once you hit 16 hours but it getting that job in the first place. I do not want to go on this course as I have terrible anxiety and hate being in groups but I just have to remain hopeful that something good will happen or I will be as depressed as everyone else is. Nothing is as clear as it seems, unless you are lucky enough to GET a job in the first place. I'd give anything to get back onto JSA being paid every two weeks was better than this monthly crap.I also have expensive key meters for gas/elec and they eat up more money as well as the travel costs and food shopping. I might as well starve.

  • Alan Purvis / 14 September 2017

    I passed medical at atos only for jobcentre to overrule it I was getting £250 fortnight now I get £210 month

  • Lea / 5 September 2017

    Whoever invented Universal Credit should be put on it and lets see how they cope. This benefit it to push people towards suicide. No matter what you do you just can't win. I have been a single mom now for almost a year. Been working full time so because of this barely got any help of them. Then I lost my job involuntarily they stopped my claim on the same day they requested further evidence of me. Then I started doing a part time job as I though I can't win either way I might as well work part time and they overestimated my income apparently waitressing earn me almost 900 a month (659£ I earned) So because of this they gave me 25£ to live one. In the breakdown charges they explained 358 was paid directly to my landlord. Surprise surprise my landlord contacted me that there was no payment. All I had is trouble with UC they definitely want to push people into suicide. I have a five year old and life is hard enough but they not making it any easier. I own 1300£ rent to my landlord I paid how much I could out of my money. They have made my life and nights a living hell but reading the comments I just realised I am not the only one.

  • sarah winsley / 26 August 2017

    what do i put on the form after my ID has been checked when it says amount of money earned from last employer when i have not worked in 9 years and been on benefits but i have just received my p45 do i put that amount instead?

  • sarah winsley / 26 August 2017

    what do i put on the form after my ID has been checked when it says amount of money earned from last employer when i have not worked in 9 years and been on benefits but i have just received my p45 do i put that amount instead?

  • Name Witheld / 24 August 2017

    I was made unemployed on 28th July. I received my last pay on that date also. I am already on UC but most months do not receive a payment as my salary was too much. I now have to wait until 29th September (my set UC date) to receive any money as my income was such on 28th July that it cancels out any payment for UC due on 29th August. This means I have to pay 2 months rent (£1100) and live for 9 weeks on £600.

    I envisaged this would be the case a couple of days after being made redundant and figured it would be best to come off UC, wait a week and then go back on it meaning that not only would I have just 6 weeks to wait for a payment but so I could also advance some benefit. I was told that once you are on UC you can't come off it and so I am back to having £600 to budget for 9 weeks food, electric, gas and also have a school uniform to buy and travel to school costs for the last 3 weeks of September.

    I have done nothing wrong. I was made redundant. I am applying for jobs but it is the summer holidays. If I get a job I do not have the money to pay for childcare.

    This country sucks.

  • Emma / 8 August 2017

    I'm absolutely petrified when i have to start claiming this i was working from home but currently no success and was nothing but trouble. constantly applying for jobs but never hear back even though i suffer depression and very bad anxiety some days i cant even get out of my home. Making me more depressed knowing i can't even get a job. I have two children and when it comes my time to claim this im worried how im going to feed my children having to go 6 weeks maybe longer without money i don't want to be on benefits ever since i have been on them i feel as though i have failed as a mother i never wanted this life for my children im just hoping this isn't going to push me over the edge like it will many others to please scrap this its going to ruin to many peoples lifes

  • Kenyon / 1 August 2017

    I am have had a kidney transplant and want to work and have to eat regularly and do not have enough money to buy food on UC what can I do Please Help

  • Gwen Dawson / 31 July 2017

    do I have to pay the universal credit back when I have a job?

  • Ekaterina Marinova / 24 July 2017

    Hello. I am a qualified professional and a single parent - a mum of one child who is in full-time education. I am a EEA national and have been living in the UK for the last 2 years and working, paying taxes.
    I am currently out of employment as my DBS came out with my names swapped.

    I am out of employment for less than a month - applied for jobs, was offered employment, but waiting for the new DBS to be processed.

    Applied for a JSA,but was told to apply for an UC. Did that. Passed the habitual residence test. Today my UC claim was declined as the UC decision-makers felt that I am a job seeker and I need to be treated as not being in the UK. One would wonder how did I go to job interviews, how did my child go to school.

    Rent is due in a couple of days. So is electric. Leaving parents without an UC poses a HUGE child protection issue.

    I wanted to make sure that I could have an advance payment to get me going before starting work. Now it is an ever ending nightmare.

  • adrienne b / 22 July 2017

    Not sure if the question is about the credit or the advice? But I think this new law is Evil, people will loose their homes and get into debt I can see suicides happening because of this, how are people supposed to survive in the 6 weeks before getting paid, this government is truly evil

  • simon wilson / 21 July 2017

    Hello well where shall I start having come off jsa pending new job which did not happen had to claim uc which created arrears in rent and then was told they cannot tell me how much I would be entilted to so any money I earn say I work 16 they take off 67p so for 16 hrs I earn 5.80 can someone plse tell me how this works or am I working for actually no where near the min wage I could go on but this uc has created more problems in my life and no one seems to know what is going on please help a very jaded downtrodden worker thanks.

  • Abdul Rachman / 13 July 2017

    How do you sleep at night?

  • MR Patel / 10 July 2017

    This does'nt help at all. The benefit cap, maybe it can be a new type of cap. I'll take it to Dragons Den and maybe all of us who cannot get Universal credit can wear the cap.

  • maggie dee / 5 July 2017

    my son has been sanctioned for 6 months so has had no payments since december he is due to start a course next week with the possibility of a full time job at the end of the course but when he asked at jobcentre they wont give him travel expenses

  • AJ / 2 July 2017

    I was asked to give evidence of my circumstances just recently, i already told these assholes about the so called info they "requested" which, is total crap!! now im worried i wont get a payment on the 5th of July!!!! this is a true nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!

  • leigh / 29 June 2017

    I think its crazy if you are being switched over from one benefit to another through no fault of your own you have to wait 6 weeks. this is crazy why can this switch over not kick in straight away it took 1 whole year to sort out my benefits and I work this is going to cause me so much stress yet again

  • scott / 20 June 2017

    I'm on universal credit and due payment on June 22nd 2017 if I signs off for Two days work on 20th when would I get money I'm due for that month

  • Margaret Krowicki / 6 June 2017

    It has helped me I never knew about that protection. I am going to write to them in my journel I have been really short of money . Thank you

  • Gemma / 31 May 2017

    Does anyone have any experience of being in the 'All work related' group and having a child of 3? I'm currently on working tax credit working 16 hrs a week but struggling with hrs and child care. But I'm aware if I leave I will be forced onto universal credit, how many hours do they expect a long aren't of a 3 yr old to work? I'm so scared for my and my daughters future having read these comments!

  • Celia dixon / 16 May 2017

    I was claiming jsa, they bullied me so much that I had a breakdown in the jobcentre. I noel have a sicknote from my doctor for acute anxiety for six weeks I am female and 60. Do I now have to claim uc

  • paul / 13 May 2017

    my wife, child and i, own a field, will we be forced to sell it if I claim jobseekers

  • Douglas rothwell / 4 May 2017

    Iv been on benifits for 18 years,I'm on esa,at present,I have a mental dissabilty,I will not be able to survive for 7 weeks without esa,I even get paid weekly,because I have trouble with handling moneney,what do I do,top myself


    Hi Douglas, we would recommend talking to your work coach about your options. You can also call our Money Advice Line on 0800 138 7777, who have experience dealing with this issue

  • MR SMITH / 2 May 2017


  • Tom Rankine / 27 April 2017

    I think the Universal Credit will come to be known better by those struggling to get by, as "The Separatist Benefit", as on the face of things it would seem that single people with a work-ethic on a low hourly rate will benefit positively, whereas a family with 2 kids will be affected negatively.

    I forsee many couples with children choosing to "live apart" on a temp / permanent basis just to safeguard their "living rights", and how on earth can this be healthy, positive or decent.

  • Jake Williams / 25 April 2017

    I started U/C in June2016 I'm still every month having hassle and I'm on tender hooks the last 8 days each month as its when they pull things they want from fresh air, every month they say they will sort it and it won't happen next month guess what it Dose

  • Daisy Lea / 16 April 2017

    I have had a terrible time over the past two years on UC, due to depression and anxiety I could not fulfill my commitments, which were attending up to 4 Ingeus appointments a week and spending 35hrs a week job searchin! I was sanctioned over £300 each month, just received Housing Benefit, and lived off the charity of my friends and family. My claim has been shut down for months now, but just last week I received a full rebate of all my sanctions, because errors were made by the DWP. I received over £4000, so I would advise anyone who is heavily sanctioned to dispute it!

  • lee brogan / 14 April 2017

    I bin force out of my employment support allowance for uc now i am starting to suffer with no help what so ever mentally health is getting harder diabetic is taking to worse i can't live on nothing so i am also ready to give up my home after just getting 3 months ago i can't keep living it is getting so hard i don't get any help

  • Janette Rei / 8 April 2017

    One thing that gets missed being explained, is that on Universal Credit you will no longer have the luxury to choose one of you being a Stay at Home Parent.
    On the old system, one person can work, and have their low income topped up by tax credits. The other was free to seek employment or stay at home and accept a lower level of income and manage.
    The new system requires a couple to claim together, and as soon as the youngest child is 3, the 2nd claimant HAS to sign a commitment to seek employment, or be sanctioned.
    I know this, as this is me at the moment.

  • Demos Socratous / 6 April 2017

    Going over to UC six months ago i had a rent deficit of 87 pounds due to unpaid bedroom tax,4 months later i was 1000 pounds behind with my rent, even tho i asked for my rent to be paid direct to the council, as a result of this there was a court case in Norwich , which is 20 miles away from where i live,AND WHAT U HAVE TO BEAR IN MIND, IS, i hadnt done anything wrong , prior to this i was liasing with local rent office by phone, and NUMEROUS visits to rent office,I did not attend the court hearing, as ,well, why should i,it wasnt my fault it was UC fault. Iwas completely oblivious to the fact that 325 pound costs were to be awarded, OTHERWISE, i would have attended , then , im informed the court awarded costs onto myself of 325 pounds the court hearing was on 17th jan 2017 , on that date i personally was behind in my personal payments to the amount of 140 pounds , yet the total amount owed on my rent account was 1000 pound 840 of which UC owed,,,,,,,,, HOW IS IT ?, i got the costs awarded against me, This is totally out xjxjxjjxjx rageous , What a con, iv been to dial citizans advice and my M P , THE GUY AT THE RENT OFFICE AGREES WITH ME ON THE FIGURE I WAS PERSONALLY BEHIND OF 140 POUNDS, and yet, he says if i manage to get the decision overturned , the council will appeal AND furthermore to add to the CON, there is a 255pound charge by the court, if, anybody wants to appeal, i havent got a 10er , let alone the 325 ,and or maybe the 255,,,,,,,,and by the way its recorded on my journal on UC that on the 10th of november,,,,,,, which by the way , was the day i recieved my very first payment of UC,,,,,,, that i stated on my journal ,,, and i quote , word for word what was writ,,,,,,,,,,,,Payment today does not include my rent. Please can u arrange to pay this urgently. Iowe more than 600 in rent arrearsnow and therefore looking to be evicted. URGENT PAYMENT REQUIRED

  • william / 31 March 2017

    i just apply'd for UC it says im not qualifyd or entitled to claim after filling in the first step! i dont get it ive just been made redundant with no redundancy as i was employed just under two years.
    i went to the job centre days before my last day they told me to apply online when i finish its friday evening now as if i needed anymore stress after being made redundant:/

  • veronica / 24 March 2017

    I would like to know what to do if UC doesn't cover all my basic costs, eg rent, water, gas and electricity?!! I won't have enough to pay for food, or even all my bills.

  • lindsay / 13 March 2017

    12 month ago I was attacked and this caused me to have depression and social anxiety, It was hard but I managed to get through it and was well on the road to recovery, I was also working towards starting up my own business and looking for part time work. Then I was switched over to universal credits which has took nearly 4 month for them to sort. This 4 month has been so scary for me and I have had to sell most of my belongings to survive, now Im struggling to leave the house without having panic attacks even just to go to school, I struggle to get out of bed most days, the anxiety is draining me of all energy. I managed to get 2 jobs One I had a panic attack whilst working and had to drive home in an absolute state on the Saturday just gone and I have not left my house since. I was suposed to start the other this morning but I got as far as my front door before almost passing out. I know I need help with this situation otherwise my money will be stopped soon, but I have no Idea who to call or whats going to happen, I know I have to be capable to work to claim UC but Its becoming obvious to me that I am far from capable. Until I get the right help and feel that the system isnt working against me Im not sure I will recover from exhausting anxiety.

  • Catherine / 13 March 2017

    Cockle, totally know where you are coming from. If my parents were not nearby I'd by in your shoes. Please call someone, I had the worst day of my life last Thursday and on Friday everything changed. If you want to talk, please post again.

  • Stephen Armit / 13 March 2017

    After starting a new job last march my back went and through a MRI i found out i had a slipped disc in lower back. Went through Physio and referred to the Surgeon whom i am still waiting to see and now UC have informed me i am entitled to zero money as my wife's income is now treated as my own , There health check done by some arrogant woman came back 0 pts and stating lies which this woman put down out of context how i said to her. Letter of course arrives on a Saturday when you cant call 2 weeks before all our monthly bills were due. had to sell off some items to make rent and now i'm in a helpless situation of meant to be resting to run back and forward at UC beck and call , trying to raise money for next month so its not all on the wife who only works as a hotel assistant and isn't on some massive wage. I have doctors , Head of Physio, MRI Scan but of course UC and there play nurses know better with there 15 little questions. Absolute joke when you have worked all your life and when you need support this is what you get. My Wife also is a Serbian National so has No recourse to Public funds due to her Visa so she cant claim anything , UC response - Once your wife is able to claim from the Gov then you will be entitled to more money! , Seriously so when she can take something from the Gov then that entitles me to more and not when she cant take anything. Work that madness out.

  • Jeanmarie Carr / 13 March 2017

    Hello. Very informative and helpful.
    Thank You

  • Ian Casson / 28 February 2017

    I think it's a joke. If I stRt work I have wait two weeks get paid. Job seekers paid you up to date. That helped till you got a forest wage. If your in arrears your missing out on payment. If you've paid high end tax, is that not wrong. I understand people who haven't paid tax. I have the system still wrong. No help on job offers. If your not well equipped with computer skills they try stop payment. How that fair, or how can that help someone who can't help them selfs

  • m / 25 February 2017

    to add to my previous comment, I have massive depression which the public wouldn't know - but my Dr who is stricyly professional and knows my case can't be trusted - it has to be a person who is trained briefly and I just can't cope with the system anymore. I'm also just someones boy no matter what age- I really hope things get better.l

  • M / 25 February 2017

    it is killing me QUITE LITERALLY, I came off esa with no help. I'm back to sq 1 and couldn't call jobs - my phone was disconnected for late payment as i had to wait 5 weeks to be paid i'm very lucky i have parents (who are both not well off)- which meant extra phone charge to me when i got the payment, and its gonna happen every month due to timing, living off a pound a day. - it's disgusting. I've tried hard to go by the rules i was doing it before but now i feel lost, My work coach is brillaint i must say that's the only thing - i failed the esa assessment by one point. So awful.

  • Nats / 24 February 2017

    People say its ridiculous about waiting all that time to get paid, well people who work full time usually get paid monthly and if you have to budget then it can be done.
    My husband recently left me with 2 kids and I'm doing ok budgeting! Its learning how to be careful. Im so far 6 weeks into my wait and I'm a little overdrawn, but the government will soon be paying for me to live so i have no right to complain about the wait!!

  • Wendy / 22 February 2017

    I applied for universal credit 3 weeks ago and understand no patment is made gor a while but I have received nothing stating I need to go to the job centre etc. I check jobs every day on your site. Do I need to do anything else in the meantime. Some people mention interviews ? Wendy

  • Paula Bi / 18 February 2017

    For all those that are claiming Universal Credit, if you are renting from a private landlord, you will find your UC payment is far lower than when on Job Seekers and housing benefit. This is because of yet another change. The DWP will only pay as much rent as the Housing Associations charge....which as we all know, is far less than private landlords. You get the top up in rent by requesting Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council. For Liverpool :- This is where you request the top up for the rest of your rent

  • stephen / 16 February 2017

    me and my partner claim as a couple and she had her tax credits moved to universal credit but it doesnt show on our payment does anybody know if it still gets added on .

  • James Megger / 15 February 2017

    When will I get my universal credit payment I get paid the 30th of every month but as it's February there is only 28 days

  • amdrew fox / 10 February 2017

    Today I was supposed to recive my universal credit payment but it did not come so I rang them and they tell me I've been sanctioned for not providing enuf work evidance so I did not get a penny but I just started a new job Monday dont get paid for another two weeks of them so I ask for help they said I have to come in the jobcentre I sed I cant I work now they sed they cant help me then unless I come in so wat do I do help please

  • M wall / 9 February 2017

    Very confusing

  • Nicholas john mckinley barry / 7 February 2017

    My name is Nicholas mckinley barry and I claimed universal credit on the 4th November 2016 and today is 7th Feb and I haven't received a penny! At the time I had to claim I had just lost my job and my home and I had hit rock bottom, the YMCA was kind enough to help with the food bank and they gave a room in an old cold falling dwn building, the room is between 9 and 12 degrees all the time as I can't afford to put heating on so I just put extra clothes on and stay under my duvet! I'm asthmatic and have other health issues due to this and have to take medication to open my air waves as well as steroid inhalers. I feel that how I'm being made to live is against my human rights and with how cold it is in the room it is putting me at risk of heart attacks and strokes and possibly hypothermia. In the mean time all the people I owe money to is building up and I could possibly be getting evicted because of the rent arrears being over a thousand pound. The government thing that pushing someone over the edge like this is going to force them into work but I think it's going to turn more people to crime to survive or to send a more vulnerable person over the edge to commit suicide, I'm nearly at breaking point as I have a job that I can start but do not have the funds to buy clothes and shoes and pay for travel aswell as my DBS. I explained this to my work coach who said that I might be eligible for a flexible support payment so I applied 3 wks ago and still haven't heard a thing! What I want to know is why the government think it's ok to put people in poverty and put them through all of this. I think that this is just another way of the government trying to take control with out thinking properly how this is going to effect the country as a whole 6 months dwn the line. Look at it this way if u got a drug addict or a drinker and u give them there monthly money do u seriously think that they are going to pay what there ment to pay to keep a roof over there head? NO! of course there not so there are going to be more and more vulnerable people homeless and all they will get offered is a bloody tent to live in. This is a outrage we are all human beings and we all have rights! How about the tories swapping places and see what a struggle life really is for the mojority of England instead of living the life of luxury off of tax payers money! I have also contacted my local mp and I'm considering taking my story to the paper

  • Quasimodo / 7 February 2017

    This is absolute garbage!
    Making people wait 7 weeks to get paid when they have just come out of work is ridiculous.

    They actually advise you on how to cope with debt!
    They may as well diagnose people with depression prescribe us all with valium.

    At least with JSA you had a chance to to live fairly and got paid fortnightly instead of this shambles.

  • Sasha lacey / 6 February 2017

    Wot does it mean wen trying 2 sign on 2 universal credit that it's timed out,


    This sounds like an issue on the Universal Credit site. This is a site we do not run. I would report this to the website administrators.

  • Sasha lacey / 6 February 2017

    Wot does it mean wen trying 2 sign on 2 universal credit that it's timed out,

  • pat / 2 February 2017

    Univeral credit seems a really good way to get people in debt who have been stung with the bedroom tax, 6 weeks of waiting for a payment!!! enough time to get the inviction notice through your door. I was told to seek help with welfare support which is a complete joke where I live in Somerset. Some people I know have ended up with mental health problems, drink problems , substance misuse because they were unable to cope with the stress this universal credit has caused there now claiming disability allowance at a higher rate, and unable to even start to look for work because their not well enough! so well done DWP

  • fiona rebair / 26 January 2017

    iv done my best and got a low income job also on universal credit this is a total shame my housing doesnt cover my rent and now because am trying to better my self i done a few extra hours over xmas instead of getting my £554,00 i got £33.50 in my bank i had to pay my landlord his rent but i carnt now i am now in arrears and he is not going to renew my tenancy,i do everything the right way but now having to look for else where to live iv lived in my flat for 9 year and dont think i should move ,i went to see( i daniel blake today and it was like seeing myself on the screen this is ridiculous,do i come off universal credit will i still get help with my rent please help any one.


    Hi Fiona,

    Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. The only advice we can give in this area is to talk to your work coach or someone at the Job Centre. Hope this helps. MAS

  • kerry / 23 January 2017

    hi, i never attended an interview at the job centre and they stopped my money. I sent my reasons why along with the evidence to the main office because they asked in a letter if my circumstances were changed. Now they have stopped I dont know how long it will be until i get it again. Please help!!!


    Hi Kerry, unfortunately we are not able to advise in this area. I would suggest talking to your work coach or someone at your local job centre.

  • Carla / 18 January 2017

    I was on esa child tax housing benefit my circumstances did not change but I had to put a new housing benefit form in so they advised me to get my rent paid I had to change to universal credit I was told I would not be worse if I am now 1100 pound a month worse if they are trying to say I can't get transitional top up as circumstances have changed but they haven't

  • Paul / 30 December 2016

    No one can get Universal Credit for at least five weeks and usually longer. That means no money to buy food, or pay your rent, or have any income whatsoever for five to ten or more weeks. If you have no resources you can get an advance, in the form of an inadequate loan, which has to be paid back. So the truth about Universal Credit is that it forces the poorest and most vulnerable people having to apply for it into rent arrears and/or debt through no fault of their own; more comfortably off claimants won't be affected like this, only the very poorest and most helpless citizens will end up in debt, because of Universal Credit, from which they may never recover.

    Universal Credit is pernicious, malicious and inhumane by design.

    Applicants are set up from the word go to suffer and to fail, either by falling into debt because necessary support has been withdrawn from them or by making a trivial error of some kind and suffering long-delays or financial sanctions.

    Iain Duncan Smith and David Freud are contemptible.

    How many people, now dead, would still be alive today if these two black-hearted dabblers and dilettante had never been born and meddled with Great Britain's social security system?

  • Chel / 21 December 2016

    I work part time on minimum wage, every months since I started work I was being taxed, last month I got it all back (600.00) pound , will they stop my money this month or not ? Can anyone help me as it's really worrying me ?

  • fraser / 15 December 2016

    They dont even listen...not one good comment about this u.c and there still wont be change because they dont like to admit failure...pathetic

  • fraser / 15 December 2016

    Ive not been paid in seven im told i will get £5.82 tomorrow...absolute joke..tried calling but no one really answered my questions and then hung up on me...ive appealed the decision but will take god knows how long..this is knocking me shambles...dont even think this post will make a blind bit a difference..problem with this country is the government etc try act like they give a damn but no one does...

  • joe clancy / 13 December 2016

    my wife has been out of work for seven months due to shop closure aged 61 but does not qualify for any assistance,i suffer with ms and can only work when able

  • Janet jackson / 9 December 2016

    I think it's dreadful as people will owe money it's so unfair to put people under pressure bad idea should not do this cause depression and illness to people

  • chelsea / 9 December 2016

    I think universal credit is absolutely ridiculous and i am not even someone who receives this! Not one person that i have talked to/know has said it has benefited them in any way! Everyone is worse off and also half the time arent receiving the correct payments or having to wait weeks for it. How are they possibly meant to live on nothing? People are in more debt then when they first started and are having to live in worry that they are not going to recieve there payments. I dont think there has been one positive outcome of this, when will you realise that it is obviously not working. Hard working people are having to live like they are poor! Ridiculous!!

  • chelsea / 9 December 2016

    I think universal credit is absolutely ridiculous and i am not even someone who receives this! Not one person that i have talked to/know has said it has benefited them in any way! Everyone is worse off and also half the time arent receiving the correct payments or having to wait weeks for it. How are they possibly meant to live on nothing? People are in more debt then when they first started and are having to live in worry that they are not going to recieve there payments. I dont think there has been one positive outcome of this, when will you realise that it is obviously not working. Hard working people are having to live like they are poor! Ridiculous!!

  • lisa carr / 8 December 2016

    I had i private landlord 750 a month rent owe him 1500 was notpayed for a month and now they refused to pay backdated claim for a month even though i showed them this was not my fault i got income support to print off the phone conversations they said just because i was misadviced dosnt mean they have to pay joke its just near christmas im in 3000 worth of debt ive got a severly dissabled daughter and 6 children in total because other people didnt do there job i have now got no money for presents all because my partner had 3 heart attacks i had to quit work and was miss adviced to claim income support had me on hold for 3 weeks told me do a rapid reclaim and then was adviced everyone as from a week ago gone on uc so i had to dont worry its not your fault it will be backdated they said another joke

  • Tiggy / 4 December 2016

    Very few private landlords will wait six weeks for the rent. My credit record will be ruined, which makes it hard to find a flat because they check now. And what do I live on while waiting? I don't get enough money to save any.

  • Victoria currie / 2 December 2016

    Me and partner been on universal credit since November 2015. We both work but mine is a seasonal job. I go back in February. My partner earns over £200 a week so they take that off us and we don't get the child element of it. So what is the bloody point of going to the stupid joke shop for appointments when we are not entitled to anything.

  • Nikki / 28 November 2016

    I have one child and I was given £420 to live on for 9 weeks and £100 had to be paid to my landlord I made a claim in July and they only aid from September because they said I missed an appointment at the job centre.
    This left me in tent and council tax arrears plus bank charges of £95 for direct debit payments, I've worked all my life and unfortunately fell ill and was unable to work I only wanted help with my rent but got told I had to claim uc!!
    The council have issued me with a position order and I now have £320 court costs added on top of my arrears. I actually went back to work while I was still ill to try and pay these debts off and sadly enddd up in hospital for one week and now I'm on morphine and strict bed rest!!!
    I came out of hospital to a letter saying I'm not entitled to housing benefit.. :(
    I don't know how this is going to end but I really can't take much more!

  • shaun / 25 November 2016

    Just like to mention I have been on universal credit since April 2016, And its crap! i know of loads of friend on JSA still and they are getting 3 giros a month with in few days so typically there on £140 (if no debts) a fortnight, So average of £420 a month. plus full rent paid . I.m on £301 a month which i make up £13 toward my rent, I do have debts (own doing) which I.m trying to keep on top of ! I asked for budgeting loan which I.m not allowed yet friend have got one cause I.m on universal credit ! not allowed now ! I,m totally grateful in what i do have as could be really worse ! but if change was to happen change for all !! no help if on universal credit !

  • Paul walkin / 22 November 2016

    I have no money for food gas nothing I can't believe I gave been left like this

  • shirley / 22 November 2016

    my daughter has been without ANY money for 6 weeks!!!! all because she started at college, she has a 18month old son!!

  • Linda / 25 October 2016

    I was claiming child tax credits rent benefit and my husband was working 16 he's a week (since Oct 2015) previously he claimed joint job seekers allowance.
    In August 2016 we split up and he moved out. I wanted to claim jsa but was told i had to claim Universal credits.
    My friend said this IS wrong and I should have been allowed to stay on the old system. I asked IF on my jornsl within 2 days of making the claim. They only answered "we have read your entry" but never answered it.
    When I went in to the job centre to collect my number I asked again and they said it was a new claim so I had to go on UC.
    I am confused.
    Can you help answer my query please?
    Thank you.

  • Nicola / 5 October 2016

    My partner and I are self employed and currently on a very low income. A recent online benefit calculation from the turn 2 us website says we are entitled to UC but because of where we live and the fact we are a couple we have found out we cannot apply. We are being penolised yet again for trying to make a living for ourselves.

  • Rachael / 21 September 2016

    Claiming since July and only payment I've received so far was £96 and they have not paid rent for 10 weeks so I owe 1683.98 in arrears. They wouldn't refer me to a food bank as I have too much money . I've had none for weeks been borrowing from family to support myself and my daughter. They are complete rubbish.

  • Sian / 18 September 2016

    Universal credit is awful it's not backdated. So you lied. You don't get enough money as half of my money goes on rent. You didn't tell me about a commitment meeting, so I missed out on a payment then you gave me an advance and said I had to pay you back!
    This service is terrible I struggle and you don't seem to care or help.
    No one should go on universal credits ad it's a awful system. I wish I stayed on tax credits.

  • John brown / 4 September 2016

    My problem was on ESA now on universal credit last payment from ESA 2 August was told by lady on phone a payment from universal credit would be in my account on 2 September no payment on emergency electric what can I do I am stressed with this please can u help

  • James Birrell / 29 August 2016

    I lost my job with Local Authority on 20th April 2016. I was dismissed after 9 years because of absence due to a long battle with depression. I applied for Universal Credit and waited until well in to July before any payment was forthcoming.....I have had two subsequent payments, each a different amount through 'sanctions'....sanctions have since been refunded however even my full entitlement doesn't cover my basic bills, i,e utilities, phone etc after my rent is paid....My children don't live with me permanently ( eldest is 18 so I understand she isn't in the equation)..but spend weekends etc with me but no account taken. I have a friend's funeral on Friday and can't even afford a haircut!....I've worked and paid tax all my life but signed off by the doctor from any work for now so I'm no scrounger.... I've been in touch with my MSP and MP who are inundated with Universal Credit complaints....I understand you don't get money for nothing but I feel I've given enough through my work over the last 32 years to merit enough help to feed and clothe myself until I'm fit enough to get back into the simply isn't covering my basic living costs.... I don't know where to turn as Universal Credit is just an on line calculator with little or no human interaction and completely devoid of logical explanations.... Any suggestions to get rid of the tech and treat Every case on its own merits??...they assume wi fi and computer accessibility is a given....I rely totally on my mobile phone and I can't pay that bill this month so it's being disconnected in a week....I don't own a PCs and don't subscribe to wi fi...I have to go to a freind to get connected...I'm sure I'm not alone but this whole experience, rather than encouraging me back to work is making my health considerably worse...would be interested to hear if anyone has managed to get anywhere when appealing to UC....p.s my MP has commented that UC is simply camouflage for wholesale benefit cuts!!!

  • annie / 9 August 2016

    this is what this country wants everybody to be like so others can sit on their bloody ass while other take are bloody jobs

  • annie / 9 August 2016

    think this is appalling how do you expect to live 6 weeks when y daughter was given 145.00 to keep her and her two children for 6 bloody weeks after stopping her tax credits she had degraed her self by asking for a food bag and then had to wait 5 bloody days for it .now what is she going to do for the ne\xt 5 bloody weeks .this is a bloody laugh cheek gets

  • Sammy / 8 August 2016

    I was getting esa. But the only reason i had 2 claim universal credits was because i went went 2 claim housi g benifits n they told me i had 2 claim universal credits. So then my esa had 2 stop. I had my 1st payment on 16th july n was told my money wouldnt be less than what i was already getting but its nearly 300 less than what i was getting. Even online when do see ehat ur inttiled to tells u diffent to what they give you. Anyone know how 2 get the top so you on same money as before. As i was always told my money wont be less than be. I dont no how they can expect me 2 leave on 500 a month for me n my son thats be4 paying any bill.

  • Anne Marie Whitaker / 9 July 2016

    I was on ESA and received my payments every 2 weeks and my housing benefit once a month. I budgeted all my bills and outgoings very well. The outcome of my Medical Assessment was that I was transferred to Universal Credit. I got a final payment of ESA in the amount of £20 on Monday 4th July and found out that I won't get my payment of Universal Credit until 12th August. I don't know how anyone is supposed to live 6 weeks with no money! I claimed an advance payment which I was allowed and was paid £348.90. My rent is £380 and that is due on the 1st of the month. I have my usual bills to pay - gas, electric, phone, water rates, Council Tax - and that's apart from food! I will have to save the £348.90 so I can pay some of my rent when it's due. My landlord won't want to wait until the 12th August for his money and how do I ask for the utility companies to wait for their money? I was budgeting very well on my income and now I have very little and have to wait 6 weeks! How would a person who works manage if they were told when their monthly salary was due that they were only getting £20 and an advance of £348.90 and they had to wait 6 weeks for the rest of their money. How would they explain to their Mortgage company that they couldn't pay them and the utility companies and any other direct debits they had. How would they feed themselves and their family? I was asked at the jobcentre if I wanted to see someone who could help me manage my money. I was dumbstruck - I have no money to manage because of the system, not because I don't know how to manage money!

  • richard ratcliffe / 7 July 2016

    For the first time in my life i went to jobcentre to beg for bus fare to get to work !! im 45 been 10 weeks now and no help for rent tax credits have stopped ..put on a course for infants . 2 and 2 is 4 ..self confidence back .....for now

  • mark henderson / 6 July 2016

    Waited 6 weeks got in rent arrears told 3 different dates the payment would be in my account then received a txt telling me i will receive a payment of 101.26 that day that does not cover the debt i have got myself into and rent still not sorted shambles is only way to describe universal credit i could honestly cry my eyes out the way im feeling feel like i am been punished for been layed off which may i point out didn't receive redundancy money

  • Debbie Barton / 28 June 2016

    I have been on universal credit for 3 months and its killing me off lve fell out with family and friends lm scared to open my front door incase its bailiffs coming to tske my things. I have 2 kids and cant afford to buy shopping l have nothing wot so ever lve asked them why my money is less cried my eyes heart and sole out to them begged them but all they say is nothing we can do you money will not be getting increased and thats that basically. I have never been so depressed in my life .

  • Joyce. FOWLER / 22 June 2016

    I am fully retired no work what so ever. When one is retired it. Is hard. To fill in.
    Thank Mrs J fowler

  • Karl Martin / 22 June 2016

    I really need help I have no money whats so ever I had a hardship money last week couldn't even pay rent as I owed money in bank and I still o money really struggling dont no what to do no more as my payment qent down I need bout £450 to get me bk on track please help Thanks

  • patrick kahuthu / 21 June 2016

    I want a loan pliz to boast my bussiness

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    Very nice

  • Patrick Smith / 21 June 2016

    I need to do a course in telehandler in what way can you help. The course cost 950 pounds.

  • steven beckett / 18 June 2016

    very interesting site

  • Robert Baxendale / 17 June 2016

    Yes i do please can u help me to get some money for me and please can you find some how how I can get £1500 pounds to loan please and thank you

  • Richard Robertson / 14 June 2016

    Very good help and advise

  • Meenakshi / 12 June 2016

    Confused about work coach. Where can I find them? Rest of the information is useful. Thank you

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  • Daniel Fisher / 11 June 2016

    Please could someone who knows answer this question my E.S.A. benefit stopped on 03/06 and the first I knew was on 08/06. I put my claim in for U.C. the same day. will my claim start from 04/06 or do I lose eleven days.

  • Daniel Fisher / 10 June 2016

    My ESA. benefit was stop on 3 June. I got my letter the 8 June to say all benefits stopped. Big shock to find no last fortnights payment. only half a weeks money.
    It feels like they wished to stop that too. somehow that's got to last at least two months until I get U.C. and then get one months money. not happy.

  • Georgi Genov / 5 June 2016

    I whant credit for my future work.👍

  • mr goodwin / 31 May 2016

    I understand the changes ,but people can not ,repeat can not live on fresh air for six weeks

  • jaroslav / 29 May 2016

    i want take lons but the dont want to let me i want to ask why?

  • Ali issaq / 14 May 2016

    i want borrow £100 for short term of 1 month and i dont have a Guarantor how can u help me plz

  • Edirige srimal Soysa / 12 May 2016

    I'm sorry , my oll bill over dive can't manège . I'm not working last 14 month awaiting for the knee surgery. Place help me

  • Edirige srimal Soysa / 12 May 2016

    I'm sorry , my oll bill over dive can't manège . I'm not working last 14 month awaiting for the knee surgery .

  • Sagar ghadei / 12 May 2016

    Plight help me.

  • melanie / 3 May 2016

    i do have a stuggle paying my rent and bills, i do not know how am going to manange, i do not get any help .

  • c thorp / 27 April 2016

    if a British citizen has been abroad for more than 28 days they are not entitled to universal benefit - are there other benefits they can claim while they look for work and if not what are they supposed to live on?

  • Julie / 27 April 2016

    I think a lot of people are going to be in debt,depression and poverty as there is a long wait for payments. There are people who cannot get loans to pay for the food for their families. Others lack confidence to talk to utility providers.