Universal Credit

Benefits and money advice


As announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget Statement, claimants will be unable to submit new claims to Universal Credit Live service from midnight 31 December 2017.

This means that any new claim in a Live service area (Waltham Forest is currently a Live Service area) made after the 31 December 2017 will, until UC Full Service  is commenced locally, be made to one of the following legacy benefits and/or tax credits listed below:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit for any rental support
  • Child Tax Credits and/or Working Tax Credits appropriate to their circumstances.

Please note: Those who request backdating to a date prior to 1 January 2018 should be directed to claim the legacy and/or tax credits listed above as there will be no backdating of the UC live service.

The Jobseeker’s Allowance gov.uk on-line claim portal will be enabled for all postcodes that are not within the UC Full Service area, this will be available from 1 January 2018.

Universal Credit in Waltham Forest

From the 16 May 2018, Full Service Universal Credit is being rolled out in Waltham Forest for all new benefit claims and for people who have a change in circumstances that changes what they are entitled to. Please note that some Waltham Forest properties are outside of the borough and for those postcodes the Full Service go live date may be different.

Find out when you could be affected

If you’re not affected yet and you’re not already receiving or claiming Universal Credit, you’ll still need to claim other benefits such as Housing Benefit in the normal way.

Universal Credit Live service

The Universal Credit live service will continue to maintain the current caseload until the transition to the Full service. This includes existing claimants who, following a change in their circumstances:

  • Cease to receive Universal Credit due to earnings as they may be subject to a re-award within a six month period
  • Report a separation, both members of the claim will remain on Universal Credit
  • Change address
  • Reports a partner joining an existing UC claim

What is Universal Credit Click to get info

Universal Credit is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit delivered by Job Centre Plus. It's a single benefit which replaces several in and out of work benefits with a monthly payment for people of working age. This includes:

  • housing benefit
  • income support (IS)
  • jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • child tax credit
  • working tax credit.

For many people it covers housing costs, so they don’t have to make a separate Housing Benefit claim.

You’ll still need to claim Housing Benefit  if you:

  • have three or more children and are not currently in receipt of Universal Credit; or
  • live in Specified accommodation

What we mean by specified accommodation

There are four categories of specified accommodation. This is accommodation in which the claimant has been placed, in order to meet a need and receive care, support or supervision.

Category 1 – Supported Exempt Accommodation

For universal credit, supported exempt accommodation is a resettlement place or accommodation provided by a non- metropolitan county council (in England), housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation.

The organisation providing the accommodation or person acting on their behalf must provide the claimant with care, support or supervision.

Category 2 

Accommodation that is provided by one of the following in which the claimant has been placed in order to meet an identifiable need for care, support or supervision and where he receives that care, support or supervision:

  • county council
  • housing association
  • registered charity
  • voluntary organisation

Category 3

 Accommodation for victims of domestic violence where they are managed by:

  • Local authorities
  • County councils
  • Housing associations
  • Registered charities
  • Voluntary organisations

Category 4

Hostel accommodation provided by local authorities where the following is provided:

  • care
  • support
  • supervision (are Pension Credit age)

From April 2018 you will also have to claim Housing Benefit if you are living in Temporary Accommodation

What we mean by temporary accommodation

  • housing arranged by a LA because they have decided that the tenant is homeless
  • in all cases the accommodation must be allocated by the LA or by a social housing provider through arrangements made with the LA.

From April 2018, if you are living in Temporary Accommodation and are in receipt of Universal Credit, this will stop and you will need to make a claim for Housing Benefit to receive help with your rent.

Even if you claim Universal Credit, you can still claim Council Tax Support and free school meals from us.

Under Universal Credit, money for your rent will be paid once a month directly into your bank account, rather than direct to your landlord.

You can pay your rent in several ways, but you’ll also need to budget and plan to pay your rent on time. You will need to set up these arrangements with your landlord.

Your community assistant, Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) officer, housing manager or social worker will be able to help with managing your rent account under Universal Credit.

The Money Advice Service has a guide to help you get to grips with paying your rent including a budget planner and tips on how to manage your money.

The Citizen's Advice Bureau will also be able to help with budgeting and pointing you towards other sources of advice and support.

Landlords: Universal Credit and rented housing

Find out how Universal Credit will affect you if you’re a landlord and have tenants who get Universal Credit by reading the guide below.

Universal Credit and rented housing – frequently asked questions (Word doc, 215KB)

You’ll need to complete an online form and have a bank account as UC is paid directly into your bank account.

The Money Advice Service has a useful guide and video to setting up a bank account if you don’t have one.

The online form must be completed in one go to be submitted, so make sure you have all your details to hand.

You’ll need to know the following details to complete your application:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
  • your tenancy agreement
  • your most recent rent statement
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that’s not from work (e.g. details of any other income)
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting

Your social worker or job coach etc will be able to help you with details of local services that provide internet access if you don’t have access to the internet at home. 

Other benefits changes Click to get info

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 saw the abolition of:

  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Some elements of the Discretionary Social Fund
  • Disability Living Allowance

The Act also led to the local Council Tax Support scheme and a local Assistance scheme, the Waltham Forest Social Fund.

Personal Independence Payment replaced Disability Living Allowance for disabled people aged 16 to 64.

Other changes included the introduction of a benefit cap and reduction in Housing Benefit if you have more spare rooms than the Government says you need.

If you’re worried about the changes, find out what support is available.

You can use our self-service or public PC’s in the following areas from 18 May 2015.

Walthamstow Library
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed

Self-service PCs​, no time limit, access link to UC application form

Leyton Library​
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
  • Self-service PCs​, no time limit, access link to UC application form
North Chingford Library​
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
  • Self-service PCs​, no time limit, access link to UC application form
Higham Hill Library​
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
Wood Street Library
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
Lea Bridge Library​
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
Hale End Library​
  • Public access PCs, 2 hour limit, library card needed
Job centre​s  
Job Centre Plus​ Walthamstow
  • Booking not required to use
  • 1 PC for new applications
  • Assistance available

UJ, email, CV and cover letters​

In the community​  
Turning Point​ PCs available for clients using the service for substance misuse issues (18yrs old and over) ​
Walthamstow Youth Hub​
  • 4 PCs for new applications
  • Universal Jobmatch
  • Email, CV and Cover letters​
Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service​ PCs available for adults 19+​
Priory Court Community Centre​ PCs for use by residents​


Contact Click to get info

If you don’t know whether you’ll be affected, give us a ring or visit our local support hub at:

Walthamstow Library
High Street
E17 7JN

Phone: 020 8496 3000