Universal Credit

Universal Credit does not replace Council Tax Support so must continue to be claimed via the Council.

From the 14 February 2018, Blackburn with Darwen became a full service Universal Credit area. This means that the way you apply for help towards your rent has changed.

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now.

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.

If your Universal Credit payment includes help towards your rent, you will need to pay this to your landlord. Find out more.

  • Are you or your partner of pension age?

From the 15 May 2019, the rules have changed for new claims made in which one member of the couple has reached pension age and the other member is of working age. This change may mean that you have to claim Universal Credit housing costs instead of Housing Benefit. Find out more.

  • Are you currently living in one of the following types of accommodation?
    • ​accommodation that provides you with care support and supervision as part of your tenancy agreement such as a registered charity, not for profit organisation, housing association or county council property as determined by the local authority
    • supported accommodation
    • domestic violence refuge

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, complete the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form.

If you answer no to the above questions, you must apply for help towards your housing costs from Universal Credit. Claims must be made online.

Apply for Universal credit

If you have difficulty in using a computer or accessing the internet, help is available. Please see below.

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.

Find out more or speak to your work coach.


Universal Credit must be claimed on line and your claim will be managed via an on line journal. You will receive all communication 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 centres for further details.