Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people who are in or out of work.  It has replaced the following ‘legacy’ benefits with a single monthly payment: 

  • Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits

If you get help with your rent this, and any eligible service charges you are due, will be included in your monthly payment and you will be responsible for paying your full rent to your landlord.

In some circumstances the housing costs included in your Universal Credit are paid directly to your landlord. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will advise if this is the case.

Universal Credit does not include Council Tax Reduction, you must apply for this separately. If you need help with your application contact the Support and Advice Team on 03456 081200.

Universal Credit start

Universal Credit full service (UCFS) is available to all working age households in Aberdeenshire.

If you are currently receiving any of the legacy benefits, for example Housing Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance, then carry on claiming as normal. The Department for Work and Pensions will contact you when you are due to move over to Universal Credit.

Claim Universal Credit

You are expected to make and maintain your Universal Credit claim online. For more information on Universal Credit and how to apply visit the Gov.uk website.

When you apply you should have the following information ready:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • an email address
  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
  • details of any earned income
  • details of savings and any investments, for example- shares or premium bonds
  • details of how much you pay for childcare (if you’re applying for help towards childcare costs)

You can also contact the Universal Credit helpline on Freephone 0800 328 9344 if you have questions about applying, or if you need information in alternative formats (for example Audio CD, braille or large print).

The DWP have published a useful YouTube video that explains Universal Credit's online services.

Scottish Choices

Under Universal Credit full service people in Scotland will have the option to be paid monthly, or twice monthly, and have the housing costs in the Universal Credit award paid to themselves or their Landlord.

These choices will become available on your online Universal Credit account after your first Universal Credit payment.

For more information view new choices for people living in Scotland (pdf 401KB).

Support for Universal Credit Claimants

Citizens Advice Scotland provides a Help to claim service for Universal Credit claimants. Trained advisors can guide you through the application process whether you are looking for answers to quick questions or step-by-step support. Help is available online, over the telephone and in person.

Further information can be found on the Citizens Advice Scotland website, or you can call 0800 0232581.

For more information on Universal Credit you can visit:

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The Money Advice Service website also provides information on how to get ready for Universal Credit and offers online support for those claiming Universal Credit.

For additional support and advice, you can also telephone the Universal Credit free phone helpline on 0800 328 9344 or send a text to 0800 328 1344 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 6:30pm).