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 being rolled out across the UK. UCFS is available across Aberdeenshire from the following Jobcentre areas:

Date of UCFS rollout Areas
From 8th November 2017 Montrose
From 27th June 2018 Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Buckie 
From 31st October 2018 Aberdeen

This means from 31st October 2018, all working age households in Aberdeenshire are eligible to claim Universal Credit.

Presently families with more than two children, who have not been in receipt of Universal Credit within the previous six months, are not be able to claim Universal Credit. Families with more than two children should continue to claim the legacy benefits as appropriate.

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

For more support and information view:

Internet access and digital skills

If you don't have internet access view our digital access leaflet for internet access, digital support and public WI-FI locations around Aberdeenshire.

The Scottish Government's Let’s get online website also provides advice about getting online and how to improve your internet skills. Search their learning directory to find out what free courses are available near you.

Personal budgeting support

Your work coach will discuss Personal Budgeting Support with you. The aim of Personal Budgeting Support is to help you gain skills to help you become more financially independent. This service is carried out by Aberdeenshire Council, or a local advice agency, and it can be delivered either face-to-face or over the telephone.

The video gives you an overview of how you can deal with managing a monthly Universal Credit payment.

Additional information

For more information about services available in Aberdeenshire view our:

For more information on Universal Credit you can visit:

Or view our:

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). 

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