Citizens Advice help with Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit which helps people on a low income or not in work meet their living costs. It combines six benefits, including Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit, into a single monthly payment.

 To help people prepare for Universal Credit, Citizens Advice is highlighting how it differs to previous benefits.

Three key changes the charity wants people to be aware of are:

  • Universal Credit payments are made in arrears once a month, rather than every week. The date you get paid will depend on when you make your claim.
  • Payments will go straight into your bank account. This means you may need to set up standing orders for expenses, like rent, if it was paid directly to your landlord under the old benefits system.
  • New Universal Credit applications, and any change in your circumstances, need to be made online.


Last year, the government made a number of changes to Universal Credit to help people avoid financial difficulty while they wait for their first payment. This includes the removal of the seven waiting days before a claimant can apply for Universal Credit.

Citizens Advice can help at every stage of the process – from guiding someone through the online application form, to offering budgeting advice and helping people best manage their monthly payment.

Some clients are experiencing long delays before receiving the first payment so it is important to get in touch with Citizens Advice as soon as you are experiencing difficulties or complications with the application process.

For more information contact your local Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444, find drop in details of opening times on their website