Last updated: 12 September 2023

Next review: 12 September 2024

The whole of the UK, including Waltham Forest, is now a 'full service Universal Credit' area. This means that everyone who’s eligible, will be able to claim Universal Credit.

This may affect you if:

  • you’re getting help with your rent through Housing Benefit
  • you want to apply for help with your rent
  • you’re already getting Universal Credit

This page explains whether you need to apply for Housing Benefit or for Universal Credit to get help with your rent.

Switching from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit will affect the way you manage your money.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a government benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Some of its main features include:

  • helping people of working age with living expenses and housing costs
  • it replaces a six other benefits: Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (SA) and Working Tax Credit. These are now referred to as the ‘legacy' benefits
  • paid as one monthly payment into your chosen bank account
  • you can only apply for it online
  • if your Universal Credit payment includes help with your rent, you need to pay this to your landlord yourself

To find out more about Universal Credit: