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Universal Credit

Who can claim

The government is introducing Universal Credit across the country in stages.  You can make a claim for Universal Credit in Warrington if you are making a new claim for Department for Work and Pensions benefit(s) and you would previously have been eligible for Job Seekers Allowance.

You must:

  • be working-age and fit for work
  • be eligible to pay rent or not have housing costs
  • not have, or be awaiting a decision on, a legacy benefit or outstanding appeal. i.e. a Department for Work and Pensions benefit, including Tax Credits, or Housing Benefit. This does not include Council Tax Support.
Single people, couples and families are all eligible to claim.

Universal Credit will eventually replace Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.

However, in Warrington, it currently only replaces Income based Job Seekers Allowance and housing benefit, and only for people who meet the criteria above.


The current criteria for claiming Universal Credit in Warrington is:

1. Where you live - The scheme currently only covers certain geographical areas. If your postcode doesn’t start with any of the following, you cannot claim Universal Credit:

  • WA1
  • WA2
  • WA3-4, WA3-5, WA3-6, WA3-7
  • WA4
  • WA5
  • WA13-0, WA13-9

2. Your personal circumstances - To claim Universal Credit you must:

  • be a GB national and normally resident in GB
  • have a valid National Insurance number (NINO) - excludes temporary NINOs
  • be between 18 years old and 1 year from State Pension Credit age
  • have a bank or building society account or Post Office Card Account
  • not be homeless or in supported accommodation
  • not own your own home (including part ownership)
  • not have more than £6000 in Savings and Capital
  • not have a fit note (unless Work Capability Assessment [WCA] confirmed found fit for work)
  • not be in a period of self-certification awaiting a fit note
  • not be making the claim through a Personal Acting Body (PAB)/Corporate Acting Body (CAB)

3. Your current benefit status – You can’t claim Universal Credit if you are entitled to, or are waiting to hear about a claim to, or are waiting to hear about an Appeal or Reconsideration, for any of these benefits:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)* - you must have left the old-style JSA more than two weeks ago to claim Universal Credit
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Incapacity Benefit (IB)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • You must also not be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Carers Allowance (CA).

Find out more about claiming Universal Credit on the government’s website.