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Getting ready for Universal Credit

Universal Credit will be a bit different and you can get ready to claim now.

Benefits are changing through central government welfare reform.

  • Universal Credit (UC) will be introduced from 13 December in Swansea for most new benefit claimants.
  • It will also affect current claimants with changes in circumstances, which means you will need to claim UC instead. Examples of changes are:
    • If you get Working Tax Credit and your working hours change meaning you're no longer entitled;
    • If you claim Housing Benefit and move between local authorities;
    • If you have a zero hour contract and you move between work and Jobseekers Allowance (from 13 December, these employees will be directed to claim UC instead).
  • All UC claimants, in work or not, have to meet 'work related requirements' (depending on their circumstances), so you might have to undertake additional work activity to increase hours of work/increase your pay.
  • All UC claims are managed online.
  • Any claimants who do not have a change of circumstances before July 2019 (and so carry on receiving current benefits) will move over to UC between summer 2019 and March 2022.
  • The timetable for UC rollout changes regularly so we will provide further information when available.

It will be:

  • Claimed online.

You will need to have an email address.

If you would like help claiming Universal Credit then you can visit the Contact Centre in the Civic Centre where staff will be able to help you. If you are unsure about using the Internet or want to learn more then our Get Swansea online (free computer courses) could be for you. If you don't have access to a computer then all our libraries have PCs that are available to use for free. You can book a slot.

  • A single, monthly payment of all your benefits, including help with rent. 

A budget might help you spread your money over the month. If you need help setting and sticking to a budget then the Money Advice Service has a handy guide on how to budget on a low incomeOpens new window. You could also use a budget planner. These are available free from Money Advice ServiceOpens new window, The Money CharityOpens new window or Money Saving ExpertOpens new window.

  • Paid into your bank account.

You will need to have a bank account. If you need a bank account the Money Advice Service has advice on running a bank accountOpens new window including tips on how to choose the right account.

PDF Document Basic bank accounts (PDF, 11KB)Opens new window

Basic Bank Accounts must be marketed in the same way as other accounts and if you are not eligible for a different account these banks should give you a basic account; if they refuse, tell us at

  • Delayed when you first claim.

You could be waiting about five weeks for your first payment. If you are worried about money or debt then the Debt Panic ButtonOpens new window and Money Made Clear WalesOpens new window have lots of advice.


Useful videos

Have a look at some useful videos below, from the Money Advice Service.

Getting ready for Universal Credit

Choosing a bank account

How to open a bank account

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