Wealden District Council

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:

  • Income Support.
  • Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance.
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit.

Help with housing costs

Any help you get with your rent will be included in your UC payment and you will be responsible for paying your landlord. In some circumstances payments can be made direct to the landlord, for example, when there are rent arrears or threat of eviction or you find it difficult to manage payments.

Universal Credit start dates in the Wealden District Council area.

As Wealden District covers a large area Universal Credit starts on different dates depending on your postcode and the individual Job Centre roll out.  The following list gives details of when Universal Credit starts by postcode.

Already started  (Hastings Job Centre)  

TN19 7**, TN20 6**, TN33 9** or TN5 6**

Already started  (Bexhill Job Centre)

TN39 4**, TN39 5**

Starts 11.10.17 (Eastbourne Job Centre (part)) BN20 0**, BN20 9**, BN22 0**, BN23 5**, BN23 6**, BN23 7**, BN23 8**,

Starts 15.1.2018 (Eastbourne Job Centre (part)) BN24 5**, BN24 6**, BN26 5**, BN26 6**, BN26 9**, BN27 1**, BN27 2**, BN27 3**, BN27 4**, BN27 9**, TN21 0**, TN21 1**, TN21 8**, TN21 9**

Starts 14.3.2018 (Haywards Heath and Crawley Job Centre) RH17 7**, TN6 1**, TN6 2**, TN6 3**, TN3 8**, RH18 5**, RH19 3** RH19 4**, TN3 9**, TN7 4**

Starts 6.6.2018 (Lewes Job Centre) BN8 4**, BN8 5**, BN8 6**, TN22 1**, TN22 2 **, TN22 3**, TN22 4**, TN22 5**, TN22 9**

Starts 29.8.2018 (Tonbridge Job Centre) TN8 7**, TN2 5**,

Existing benefit claimants

If you're already claiming any benefits you don't need to do anything. You'll be told when UC will affect you. However if your situation changes and this results in your benefits changing you may need to claim Universal credit if it has started in your area.  Please check the post codes above. 

New benefit claimants

You must claim Universal credit if you are  

  • of working age
  • single or a couple and have no children
  • are fit for work  

  • OR you live in a postcode where Universal credit has started and don't have more than 2 children. Please check the post codes above

How to claim

Claim online via the Universal Credit Portal (external link).

You can view the claim process prior to claiming on Universal credit a guide to claiming (external link)

You will not be able to save the online application and go back to it. You must allow time for the form to be completed. It may take between 20 and 40 minutes.

You will need the following information to claim online:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Details of a bank, building society or Post Office into which your Universal Credit will be paid
  • Your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • Details of any savings and other capital Details of any non-work income for example income from an insurance plan
  • Details of any other benefits you already get
  • You might also need these details for people who live in your home, eg your partner.

Do not delay in making your claim as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot backdate your claim except in exceptional circumstances.

Accessing the internet

Don't have access?

If you don't have internet access at home you can get free access at these venues.

  • In the foyer of Wealden District Council
  • Your local library


Universal Credit will be paid monthly to one person in the household. If you live with your partner and both claim UC you'll receive a single payment that covers you both.

Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment and you'll then pay your landlord yourself.

Help with Council Tax

Help with Council Tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. The Department for Work and Pensions will no longer accept a claim for Council Tax Reduction at the same time as you claim UC.

You must apply for Council Tax Support through the council's Benefits Service, and provide any evidence needed to support your claim.

If you don't send your Council Tax Reduction claim to us when you apply for Universal Credit you may lose benefit entitlement as we may not be able to backdate it.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) will still be administered by Wealden District Council even if you no longer claim Housing Benefit. You will need to have your housing costs met through Universal Credit. DHP can only be paid to meet the shortfall of Universal Credit Housing costs towards your rent. If once your Universal credit has been worked out the Housing payment does not meet your rent you can claim a Discretionary Housing Payments online.

Need help and support with your claim?

Your local Job Centre will be able to advise you on Universal Credit and payments and budgeting support. If you find it difficult to manage this new monthly payment please speak to your work coach.

If you need financial help before your UC payment is due and meet certain conditions, you can ask for an advanced payment from Job Centre Plus (not the Council). Please note that future payments will be reduced to pay for this advance.

Your local Citizen Advice Bureau (external link) can provide help with budgeting.

There are several other agencies that may be able to help depending on your circumstances and the help you need.  We have listed these on our Benefit Contacts.

Contact information

If you require help with something in this section, please contact us, using the contact details below.

Contact the Benefits Team