Claiming benefits


If you need financial help, you might be eligible to claim benefits including Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and Council Tax Reduction.



Universal Credit

Universal Credit is an all-encompassing benefit that’s designed to make life easier by replacing 6 older benefits with one single monthly payment.

Universal Credit replaces:

  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit


Check your Universal Credit entitlement

You can use this Benefits Calculator to check how much Universal Credit you may be entitled to. It’s completely anonymous – you won’t need to submit any personal details.


Claiming benefits for the first time

If you’ve never claimed benefits before, you can only apply for Universal Credit. However, there are a couple of exceptions:

  1. If you’re eligible, you can make a new claim specifically for Housing Benefit.
  2. You can still make a new claim for any old benefit if you’re already getting a Severe Disability Premium (SDP), or if you got one in the last month and are still entitled to it.


Applying for Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit on the website. You’ll need an email address to apply.

Step-by-step guide to applying for Universal Credit


If you already claim benefits

You might be better off claiming Universal Credit, or you may be asked to start claiming Universal Credit if a benefit you’re claiming ends, or your circumstances change, such as:

  • There’s a change in your employment status
  • Different family circumstances
  • Someone joins or leaves your household
  • You start or stop being a carer
  • You start or stop a disability claim
  • You move home (under a different Local Council)

If a benefit you are claiming ends, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) will write to you and tell you exactly what you need to do for a smooth transition to Universal Credit.



Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit. It can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.

If either of the following apply, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit:

  • If you have reached State Pension age
  • If you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

Housing benefits eligibility


If the Housing Benefit that you claim ends, you must let us know immediately so that your MTVH account is accurate.



Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability, something that makes everyday tasks more difficult.

The PIP replaces what used to be known as the Disability Living Allowance.

About Personal Independence Payments



Council Tax Reduction

You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction (discount) if you’re on a low income or get benefits.

Apply for Council Tax reduction



Talk to us

If you have any money worries, or don’t understand what you may be eligible for, contact us and we can help you explore your benefits options.

The easiest way to contact us is using our online form.

Contact us online

Alternatively, you can call us on 0203 535 3535, Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm, and ask for the Empowering Futures team.