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Universal credit

Universal Credit has replaced a range of benefits and tax credits for people of working age.

If you claim one of the following benefits you WILL be affected.

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

You WILL NOT be affected if you or your partner receive Pension Credit.

Universal Credit is a single, monthly payment of benefits that includes financial help towards rent.  It is paid into a bank or Post Office account every month in arrears and it is the claimant’s responsibility to pay their rent from their Universal Credit payment.

Whether you can claim it and the way you manage your claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. There are currently two Universal Credit services operating across Greater Manchester.

Universal Credit Full Service

People on the ‘full service’ have an online Universal Credit account to manage their claim. They can use their account to report changes, send messages to their work coach and find support.

Some parts of Greater Manchester have moved over to the full digital service. Eventually all Universal Credit claims will move over.

Universal Credit Live Service

People who live in a ‘live service’ area manage their claim by phone. They will soon move over to the ‘full service’. If you’re affected, the Government Department for Work and Pensions will notify you of this. Please don’t ignore this, if you don’t register for your full service account within the given time, your Universal Credit will stop and you may face up to six weeks without any income. 

Has something changed?

If you claim Universal Credit any changes to your circumstances may affect how much Universal credit you are able to claim. You are responsible for telling the Department of Work and Pensions of any changes.

How can you prepare for this change?

  • Get online! ‘Full/digital’ service Universal Credit claims must be applied for and managed online. You will also need an e-mail address. You can access the internet for free at your local library and they will also help you get online for the first time.
  • Open a bank account. If you only have a Post Office Card Cash Account then you will need to open a bank account to accept your Universal Credit payments. Please visit for more information on how to do this.
  • When making your online claim for Universal Credit you will be expected to prove your identity through If you cannot do this you will need to make an appointment at the Job Centre to provide proof of your identity.
  • Get help with budgeting. If you are affected by the changes above and are worried about being able to pay your rent, you should ask for advice now. If you don't pay your rent you could lose your home, so it is important that you speak to us.

irwell valley homes income management team can help…

  • With Universal Credit and other welfare benefits
  • You to sustain your tenancy by providing information and support
  • You to get online by referring or signposting to services
  • With budgeting, setting up a bank account or accessing a Credit Union
  • You to manage any debt

Call us for a confidential and informal chat on 0300 561 1111 (this is included in any inclusive calls made from a mobile and low cost for all landlines).

You can also find out more about Universal Credit in this short video