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Eligibility for Universal Credit

If you already claim benefits

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit

If you’re already claiming these benefits, the Jobcentre Plus will tell you when you have to move to Universal Credit.

Your benefits may end before your Universal Credit starts. If you won’t have enough money to live on before it starts, call the Universal Credit helpline to ask for an advance payment. You’ll repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments - they’ll be lower until you pay it back.


If you're making a new benefit claim

If you're newly unemployed, you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit if you:

  • live in the Middlesbrough Council area but aren't homeless, in supported or temporary accommodation, or a homeowner
  • have a valid National Insurance number
  • are single, have no dependent children, are a British citizen, and are aged between 18 years and 60 years and 6 months
  • are fit for work
  • haven't received a payment of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that ended in the last two weeks, except where ESA ended due to a decision that you no longer have limited capability for work
  • aren't pregnant or have given birth within the last 15 weeks
  • aren't receiving existing benefits or tax credits, nor awaiting a decision on, nor be appealing against, a decision not to award any of those
  • aren't receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • don't have savings in excess of £6,000
  • don't have any caring responsibilities
  • aren't required by the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission to pay child maintenance
  • aren't self-employed, in education, nor have a person acting on your behalf over your claim
  • aren't a company director or in a limited liability partnership

If you aren't eligible to claim Universal Credit you'll be advised to claim one of the other benefits as normal. If you're unsure, you can find out more about Universal Credit online or contact your local Jobcentre.

You can use the Universal Credit Personal Planner to find out whether you're ready to claim Universal Credit.