Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs if you're on a low income or are not working.

Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax support. Claims for Council Tax support must be made through the Local Authority.

Blackburn with Darwen is now a full service Universal Credit area - this means that the way you apply for help towards your rent has changed.

Universal Credit is a new working-age benefit being introduced across the country as part of the Government’s welfare reforms. You may be able to claim Universal Credit instead of certain benefits if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit is paid differently to current benefits. You will get a single payment for your household and it will be paid once a month into your bank or building society account.

It can be applied for people in or out of work, and merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting.

If your Universal Credit payment includes help towards your rent, you will need to pay this to your landlord. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Universal Credit application

Universal Credit applications take on average 5-6 weeks to be paid. If you feel that this may cause you financial difficulty you can request an advanced payment. 

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website or speak to your work coach.


Universal Credit must be claimed online and your claim will be managed via an online journal. You will receive all communications from your work coach via your journal so you must check it regularly.

You will also need an email account and a mobile phone. If you do not have a mobile phone, please advise your work coach as soon as possible.

If you have difficulty in using a computer and/or accessing or using the internet, help is available at the following locations:

Drop in sessions and bookable IT courses from beginner level are available - please contact one of the centre's for further details.