Universal Credit

Roll out of Universal Credit →

From 18th April 2018 most people making a claim for working age benefits and help with housing costs in Wigan Borough will be placed in Universal Credit Full Service.

If you receive Universal Credit you need to report changes in your circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure you keep getting the right amount each month. Your claim may be stopped or reduced if you do not tell the DWP straight away of any changes. To report a change sign into your Universal Credit account (external link).

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help working-age households with basic living expenses and housing costs. It is administered and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaces the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

You will be transferred to Universal Credit in Wigan Borough if you have a change of circumstances that affects your current benefits.

Please note: Council Tax Reduction and Free School Meals are not being replaced by Universal Credit so you will need to apply for those separately.


You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • You're on a low income or out of work
  • You're over 18 (there are some exceptions if you're 16 or 17)
  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you both
  • You live in the UK.

The number of children you have does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, but it may affect how much payment you get.

Use a benefits calculator (external link) to check what benefits you could get if you're not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you live with your partner

Your partner's income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you're 16 or 17 years old

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • You have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
  • You’re caring for a severely disabled person
  • You're responsible for a child
  • You're a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • You're pregnant and it's 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
  • You've had a child in the last 15 weeks
  • You do not have parental support, for example, you're estranged from your parents and you're not under local authority care.

If you're in training or studying full time

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • You live with your partner and they're eligible for Universal Credit
  • You're responsible for a child, either as a single person or a couple
  • You're disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
  • You're in 'non-advanced education', (for example, studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 years old or under and do not have parental support.

If you've reached Pension Credit qualifying age

You can only claim if you live with a partner who is eligible for Universal Credit and under Pension Credit qualifying age. You will have to make a joint claim.

From 15th May 2019, mixed age couples will no longer be able to choose whether they claim Universal Credit or Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit. Both parties of a couple will have to reach the Pension Credit qualifying age before they can be entitled to Pension Credit and/or pension age Housing Benefit.


  • If you live in supported accommodation or placed in temporary accommodation, you should claim Universal Credit (unless you are already in receipt of a legacy benefit), but will receive help with your rent via Housing Benefit

Before applying

Check if you need to do anything before applying for Universal Credit by completing the DWP preparation planner (takes 5 mins) it will tell you what things you need (for example a bank account (external link) and email address):

How to apply

You will need to go to  Universal Credit (external link) on the government website for more information, to find out if you are eligible, or to apply.

Help and support

From 1st April 2019, Citizen’s Advice will be providing a Help to Claim service.

What is Help to Claim?

Help to Claim is a new service that will offer end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

Advisers will help with:

  • Setting up the Universal Credit account
  • Assisting people to submit their claim online
  • Completing claim to-dos
  • Verifying identity
  • Making sure claimants provide the right evidence to the Jobcentre
  • Helping people to understand what Universal Credit will mean for them - this could include accessing adaptations to payment or supporting the client to prepare for the practicalities of the first payment.

How to access Help to Claim

Residents can access Help to Claim:

  • Byphone - Call (freephone) 0800 144 8444 to speak to a trained adviser over the phone (this is for new Universal Credit claims only). For all other queries, you should call the advice line
  • By webchat - Chat with an adviser online (external link).

Making a professional referral

If you would like to refer anyone into this service, please call 01942 709709. You will need to have the clients consent to share details.

Help to Claim service locations
 LocationDay Time
Wigan Job Centre Plus
Brocol House, 71 King Street, Wigan, WN1 1EA
Monday - Friday Drop in at 9am - 3pm (10am - 3pm on Wednesdays)
Pre-booked appointments also available.
Leigh Job Centre Plus
Roydale House, 2, 10, Windermere Road, Leigh WN7 1UT
Monday - Friday Drop in at 9am - 3pm (10am - 3pm on Wednesdays)
Pre-booked appointments also available
Citizens Advice Wigan
Wigan Life Centre, The Wiend, WN1 1NH
Monday - Friday Drop in at 9am - 3pm
Pre-booked appointments also available
Citizens Advice Leigh
Suite 2.1 Magnum House, 33 Lord Street, Leigh WN7 1BY
Monday - Friday Drop in at 10am - 4pm
Pre-booked appointments also available
Ashton Job Centre Plus
17-19 Gerrard Street, Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan WN4 9AB
Thursday Drop in at 10am - 4pm
Pre booked appointments also available
Other help and support services

Job Centre (external link)

Receive job seeker support and claim guidance.

71 King St, Wigan WN1 1EA

0843 487 1844

Roydale House, 2, 10 Windermere Rd, Leigh WN7 1UT

0345 608 8545

Wigan Council welfare rights 

Free and confidential advice on a range of welfare benefits. You can get help completing claims forms and receive appeals guidance.

Welfare rights help

Money management and personal budgeting support.

Citizen's Advice (external link)

Help to Claim - Universal Credit:

Check eligibility, check you have the right evidence, submit your claim online, understand your next steps and access any extra help or support.

Wigan and Leigh Job Centre Offices -

Monday to Friday at 9am - 5pm (10am on Wednesdays), from 1st April until Friday 12th April 2019.

Ashton Jobcentre Plus -

Thursday 4th April and Thursday 11th April at 9am - 5pm.

Unify (external link)

Credit union run by members offering low-cost loans and financial support 

21 Crompton Street, Wigan WN1 1BN

01942 24565690

Bradshawgate, Leigh WN7 4NP

01942 603565

Get online

Offering a wealth of resources, tools, learning and direct support to help you get online

Visit our Digital Wigan webpages for digital resources and support

The Brick (external link)

Offers services to people who are homeless, in poverty or facing debt crisis.

The Brick, 10 Arcade Street, Wigan WN1 1LU
01942 236953

Compassion in Action (external link)

Offers a holistic approach to help people live independently and meets the needs of people in crisis by providing food, furniture, clothes, skills training and accommodation. 

9 & 17 Oaklands Road
Nr. Warrington

01942 262636

National Debt Helpline (external link)

An independent charity, providing free debt advice by phone and online to people across the UK.

0808 808 4000

Money advice service (external link)

Free and impartial money advice set up by government, including setting up a fee-free bank account.

0800 138 7777

Age UK (external link)

Help for older people including advice on benefits and finances.

01942 241972

United Utilities (external link)


If you are worried about paying your water bill while waiting for Universal Credit payments. They can also check your tariff to see if you can reduce your bill.

0800 072 6765

© Wigan Council