Universal Credit

Roll out of Universal Credit →

From 18th April 2018 most people making a claim for working age benefits and help with housing costs in Wigan Borough will be placed in Universal Credit Full Service.

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help working-age households with basic living expenses and housing costs. It is administered and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces the following benefits:

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

You will be transferred to Universal Credit in Wigan Borough if you have a change of circumstances that affects your current benefits.

Please note:  Council Tax Reduction and  Free School Meals are not being replaced by Universal Credit so you will need to apply for those separately.


You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • You're on a low income or out of work
  • You're over 18 (there are some exceptions if you're 16 or 17)
  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you both
  • You live in the UK.

The number of children you have does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, but it may affect how much payment you get.

Use a benefits calculator (external link) to check what benefits you could get if you're not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you live with your partner

Your partner's income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you're 16 or 17 years old

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • You have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
  • You’re caring for a severely disabled person
  • You're responsible for a child
  • You're a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • You're pregnant and it's 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
  • You've had a child in the last 15 weeks
  • You do not have parental support, for example, you're estranged from your parents and you're not under local authority care.

If you're in training or studying full time

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • You live with your partner and they're eligible for Universal Credit
  • You're responsible for a child, either as a single person or a couple
  • You're disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
  • You're in 'non-advanced education', (for example, studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 years old or under and do not have parental support.

If you've reached Pension Credit qualifying age

You can only claim if you live with a partner who is eligible for Universal Credit and under Pension Credit qualifying age. You will have to make a joint claim.

From Wednesday 15th May 2019, if one of you is of working age you will need to claim Universal credit.

If you prefer, you can make a claim for Pension Credit as a couple instead.


  • If you live in supported accommodation or placed in temporary accommodation, you should claim Universal Credit (unless you are already in receipt of a legacy benefit), but will receive help with your rent via Housing Benefit
  • If you currently receive, or were in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium within the last month and you remain entitled, you should continue to claim any of the above working-age legacy benefits which are appropriate to your circumstances. To be entitled to the Severe Disability Premium, you will need to live alone (or be classed as living alone), have no one in receipt of Carer's Allowance or the Carer Element within UC for caring for you, and be receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or higher rate
    • Personal Independence Payment daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
    • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment

Before applying

Check if you need to do anything before applying for Universal Credit by completing the DWP preparation planner (takes 5 mins) it will tell you what things you need (for example a bank account (external link) and email address):

How to apply

You will need to go to  Universal Credit (external link) on the government website for more information, to find out if you are eligible, or to apply.

If you need help

Help and support
Job Centre (external link) Receive job seeker support and claim guidance.

71 King St, Wigan WN1 1EA

0843 487 1844

Roydale House, 2, 10 Windermere Rd, Leigh WN7 1UT

0345 608 8545

Wigan Council welfare rights  Free and confidential advice on a range of welfare benefits. You can get help completing claims forms and receive appeals guidance.

Welfare rights help

Money management and personal budgeting support.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (external link) Provides free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome issues with money, work, housing and consumer rights. Also see their specific information on  Universal Credit (external link) 

Wigan Life Centre, The Wiend, Wigan WN1 1NH

0300 330 1153

Unify (external link) Credit union run by members offering low-cost loans and financial support 

21 Crompton Street, Wigan WN1 1BN

01942 24565690

Bradshawgate, Leigh WN7 4NP

01942 603565

Be Online sessions Wigan Council drop in sessions for residents who need extra help getting online.

Wigan Library 

Every Tuesday and Thursday 10am - 12noon

Leigh Library 

Every Wednesday 11am - 1pm

Platt Bridge Life Centre

Every Thursday 3pm - 5pm

The Brick (external link) Offers services to people who are homeless, in poverty or facing debt crisis. The Brick, 10 Arcade Street, Wigan WN1 1LU
01942 236953
Compassion in Action (external link) Offers a holistic approach to help people live independently and meets the needs of people in crisis by providing food, furniture, clothes, skills training and accommodation. 

9 & 17 Oaklands Road
Nr. Warrington

01942 262636

National Debt Helpline (external link) An independent charity, providing free debt advice by phone and online to people across the UK. 0808 808 4000
Money advice service (external link) Free and impartial money advice set up by government, including setting up a fee-free bank account. 0800 138 7777
Age UK (external link) Help for older people including advice on benefits and finances. 01942 241972
United Utilities (external link)  If you are worried about paying your water bill while waiting for Universal Credit payments. They can also check your tariff to see if you can reduce your bill. 0800 072 6765

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