Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people that replaces a number of existing benefits, including Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance.

It is a monthly payment to help with basic living expenses and housing costs if you are on a low income or out of work.

Find out more about Universal Credit

Mixed age couples

Currently if you are in a couple where one of you is above State Pension age  and the other is below it (this is known as a mixed age couple), you can choose to make a claim for Pension Credit and /or Housing Benefit instead of Universal Credit.

However, this choice will not be available from 15 May 2019.

From that date mixed age couples will not be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit and /or Housing Benefit, but may be able to claim Universal Credit instead. 


If you are in a mixed age couple and are receiving Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019, you will stay on those benefits as long as your circumstances remain the same and there is no break in your claim.


If you have a break in your claim or your circumstances change, you may need ot make a claim for Universal Credit instead.


This new rule does not affect any claim for Council Tax Support. You will continue to be classed as a pension age couple if only one of you is of pension age.


Claim Universal Credit

You can use the Citizens Advice Bureau postcode checker to see if you are eligible to claim Universal Credit and you can apply online here

If you claim Universal Credit your rent costs will normally be included as part of your claim, so you will not normally need to claim Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance separately.

However there are some exceptions to this eg. if you live in supported accommodation.

If you cannot claim Universal Credit you should apply for Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance

If you receive Universal Credit you do need to claim for Council Tax Support separately.

Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance and Council Tax Support claim form (PDF, 1.54MB)

If in doubt please do not hesitate to contact us